Despite the critical backlash levied against Suicide Squad, most reviewers agreed Will Smith’s charismatic performance as Deadshot was one of the film’s highlights.
But in order to accept the role, Smith was forced to pass up a chance to appear in Independence Day: Resurgence. And now he’s revealing why he made that choice.
Speaking to fans during a Facebook Q&A event (via Entertainment Weekly), Smith said it all came down to his desire to move forward instead of backward.
“I had the two screenplays in front of me for the Independence Day 2 and for Suicide Squad. I had to choose between the two of those. Even the choice of going to Suicide Squad — nothing about the qualities of the movie — but the choice of trying to go forward versus clinging and clawing backwards. I do want to aggressively go forward and do new things and create and hopefully be able to stumble upon a new heyday.”
Smith’s role in the original Independence Day was instrumental in allowing him to transition from television to film, and his delivery of “Welcome to Earth” is arguably one of the most memorable – and most quoted – lines in modern cinema.
Many fans of the film were disappointed that Smith opted not to return for the follow-up, but comparing the film’s box office returns to those of Suicide Squad is a strong indicator that he chose wisely.
Smith can next be seen on the big screen in Collateral Beauty, which opens Dec. 16.
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