4 Movie Characters Killed Before the Sequel

PHOTO: Will Smith attends Varietys Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors To Watch Brunch at the Parker Palm Springs, Jan. 3, 2016, in Palm Springs, Calif.PlayJerod Harris/Getty Images
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Hollywood is usually reluctant to kill off major characters in films, especially if there's a chance of a sequel.

But in the case of "Independence Day: Resurgence," the sequel to the blockbuster "Independence Day," Will Smith's character, Col. Steven Hiller, gets killed between the two films.

On a promotional website for the sequel, a fake news headline from 2007 reads, "Alien Tech Malfunction Kills Col. Hiller."

It came as shocking news to fans who were hoping Smith would reprise his role. Even the star himself was sad to learn of his character's fate.

"The trailer looks really cool. I'm going to be sitting around with tears in my eyes when that one comes out," he told Yahoo! Movies. "It was terrible when I found out my character died."

Even though Smith said he "had talked" to "Independence Day" director Roland Emmerich about returning for the sequel, the two apparently couldn't come to an agreement.

Emmerich told the New York Daily News in a July 2013 interview, "Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much. We have like maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film and the other half people who are new."

Hiller may be the first character killed off between films, but he's not the first to die before a sequel. Of course, this being a Hollywood, a character's death is not always final either.

Take a look at these others and beware, there are spoilers ahead:

Grace Augustine

PHOTO: Sigourney Weaver attends the opening of the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dec. 17, 2015, in New York City.Craig Barritt/Getty Images
Sigourney Weaver attends the opening of the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dec. 17, 2015, in New York City.

Sigourney Weaver's character Grace Augustine in the billion-dollar blockbuster "Avatar" died at the end of the 2009 film. But Weaver will return in director James Cameron's three planned sequels, though not necessarily as Augustine. "Her character of Grace Augustine, as fans know, died in the first movie, so she's playing a different and in many ways more challenging character in the upcoming film," Cameron told the Guardian in 2014. "We're both looking forward to this new creative challenge, the latest chapter in our long and continuing collaboration."

Augustine won't be the only character returning from the dead. Stephen Lang is also expected to be back as villain Colonel Quaritch, despite ending the first film with two Na'avi arrows through his chest.

Dwayne Hicks

PHOTO: Michael Biehn attends the screening of WINNING: The Racing Life Of Paul Newman at the El Capitan Theatre, April 16, 2015, in Hollywood, Calif.Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Michael Biehn attends the screening of "WINNING: The Racing Life Of Paul Newman" at the El Capitan Theatre, April 16, 2015, in Hollywood, Calif.

Weaver's co-star from her other successful franchise, "Alien," Corporal Dwayne Hicks, played by Michael Biehn, bit the dust at the beginning of "Aliens 3" when the escape ship carrying him, Ripley and Newt crashes and Ripley is the only survivor. But the director of the fifth installment, Neill Blomkamp, has hinted that Hicks could be back. Blomkamp considers his film to be the sequel to James Cameron’s 1986 classic "Aliens," which would place it as the third movie in the franchise, leaving room for Hicks to still be alive.


The king of the pride in Disney's animated hit, "The Lion King," Mufasa is killed early in the film. But his death drives son Simba, the protagonist of the film, to recapture the throne. Mufasa's ghost appears briefly in two direct-to-video sequels, "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride" and "The Lion King 1 1/2." Disney is the parent company of ABC News.