Will Smith Celebrates Independence Day Movie's 25th Anniversary With BTS Photos

Will Smith celebrated the 25th anniversary of Independence Day by posting some behind-the-scenes photos. Released in 1996, the film follows humanity's fight against an alien invasion occurring during the 4th of July holiday. The film broke box-office records during the time, quickly becoming the most popular film of 1996 and propelling Smith into stardom.

Due to its American-centric plot and its 4th of July setting and release, the film is a favorite to reference and reminisce over during the holiday. This year in particular, though, was special as it marks Independence Day's 25th anniversary. The cast and crew reflected on the film, with director Roland Emmerich revealing he fought for Smith to be cast in the role. The studio refused Smith for his race and for his inexperience in the film industry, but Emmerich was adamant that Smith and Jeff Goldblum were the two actors for Independence Day. Eventually, Emmerich succeeded and in turn created a film that would become a classic and kick-off Smith's status as a global star.

Related: Why Independence Day's Thomas Whitmore Is The Best Movie President EVER

On the 25th anniversary of Independence Day, Smith marked the occasion by sharing several behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram. Smith captioned the photos simply, "25 years ago?!?! WOW!!" The photos featured a couple behind-the-scenes shots of Smith and Goldblum in costume, a clip of one of the film's most iconic scenes, and a heartwarming throwback photo of Smith and his family decked out in camouflage on the red carpet. Check out Smith's post below:

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Smith's post garnered over 2 million likes and several thousand comments, with fans and colleagues sharing their support of him and love for the film. His post was especially heartwarming after Emmerich's reveal of the fight to cast Smith. The studio almost cast Ethan Hawke as Independence Day's lead, but eventually, the fight for Smith was won, and he proved to be a stellar choice for the film. Smith and Goldblum meshed well as the heroes of the film, and their roles were complemented by Bill Pullman's excellent presidential portrayal. Now, every year, Independence Day resurfaces as a 4th of July favorite, along with Smith's most iconic quotes and scenes from the film.

It is always a special treat when celebrities share behind-the-scenes photos or throwbacks with their fans. However, Smith's post was particularly special as it marks a quarter of a century since he hit a huge milestone in his career. His role in Independence Day is nothing short of iconic. As one of Smith's photos illustrated, fans of the film still like to jokingly refer to July 4th as the day "Will Smith saved us from the aliens." The popularity of Independence Day both in the U.S. and overseas made Smith an internationally recognized star. If he had not been cast in Independence Day, it is difficult to say what his career might have looked like. However, today, he is a box-office superstar, and it is touching to see him reflect back on the film that started off his career. It wasn't just a personal victory to him, but a victory for minorities and newcomers in the industry, as Smith's iconic role perfectly illustrated that no one should be written off for their race or experience.

More: Independence Day's Big Clue To When The Aliens First Arrived

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