See the Cast of ‘Independence Day’ Then and Now

It’s been nearly two decades since the events of Independence Day in 1996 and the aliens have finally returned. While not every actor and actress from the original film will be reprising their roles in the sequel, there are a few faces you may recognize that have come back to defend us from extinction. Read on and find out who will and won’t return in Independence Day: Resurgence!

Bill Pullman
20th Century Fox
Bill Pullman played President Thomas J. Whitmore in the original Independence Day, is one of the actors who will reprise his role from the first film. His character was the 42nd President of the United States and also served as a fighter pilot in the Persian Gulf War. In the 2016 sequel, Whitmore has long since ended his presidency but has been having recurring visions of alien symbols ever since his encounter with the aliens twenty years ago.
Jeff Goldblum
20th Century Fox
Jeff Goldblum is another actor who will reprise his role from the original film. In the first film, he played David Levinson, a computer expert from MIT who was essential in defeating the aliens. He devised a computer virus that disabled the alien force fields and allowed a nuclear missile to be effective. In the sequel, he has left his job as a satellite technician in New York City and was recommended by President Whitmore to become Director of ESD (Earth Space Defense). As Director, he provides the United Nations with the information necessary to fight off alien invasions.
Mary McDonnell
20th Century Fox
Although Mary McDonnell played First Lady of the United States Marilyn Whitmore in the first movie, she will unfortunately not be returning in the sequel. This is unsurprising as her character died in the original film. However, McDonnell has had a lot of success since her days as First Lady. Recently, she had a recurring role as Captain Sharon Raydor in The Closer for which she won an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama series in 2011. This led to a spin-off series titled Major Crimes which debuted in 2012.
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Will Smith
20th Century Fox / Wenn
Will Smith is another actor who will not be reprising his role from Independence Day. Smith played Captain Steven Hiller, a pilot who manages to subdue an alien pilot and bring it in for autopsy in the first film. Although Hiller did not die during the events of the original movie, it is revealed in the 2016 novel Independence Day: Crucible by Greg Keyes that he was killed while test flying an alien hybrid fighter that malfunctioned and exploded. According to a Movieweb article from way back, discussions for Will Smith's return were stopped when Fox refused to pay $50 million for his salary.
Vivica A. Fox
20th Century Fox
Although Will Smith won't be returning as Captain Steven Hiller, Vivica A. Fox will be reprising her role as his wife Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller. Her return was confirmed by director Roland Emmerich on March 3rd in 2015. She was originally an exotic dancer when we last saw her in Independence Day but went on to marry Hiller. Afterwards, she returned to school to study nursing and now works as a hospital administrator in Independence Day: Resurgence.