Will Smith marks 25th anniversary of blockbuster Independence Day

Will Smith Marks 25Th Anniversary Of Blockbuster Independence Day
Will Smith. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images
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By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Will Smith has shared throwback photos from Independence Day as he marked 25 years since the release of the alien invasion blockbuster.

The Hollywood superstar played Marine pilot Captain Steve Hiller in the 1996 film, in which aliens destroy major cities of the world and he must save mankind from annihilation.

Sharing a gallery of photos from the film, including a shot of himself and co-star Jeff Goldblum and a picture of himself and wife Jada Pinkett Smith and his son Trey at the premiere, he wrote: “25 years ago?!?! WOW!!”

Goldblum played satellite engineer David Levinson in the film, while Bill Pullman played President Thomas J Whitmore, delivering one of the most famous speeches in movie history.

The film made Smith into an international superstar but director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin have revealed they had to fight to cast him in the film.


Emmerich told The Hollywood Reporter: “Ethan Hawke was on our list too, but I thought at that time he was too young.

“It was pretty clear it had to be Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. That was the combo we thought. The studio said ‘No, we don’t like Will Smith. He’s unproven. He doesn’t work in international [markets].'”

Devlin added: “They said ‘You cast a black guy in this part, you’re going to kill foreign (box office).’

“Our argument was, ‘Well, the movie is about space aliens. It’s going to do fine foreign.’

“It was a big war, and Roland really stood up for (Smith) – and we ultimately won that war.”

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