Maika Monroe Replaces Mae Whitman for Independence Day 2

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Mae Whitman in Independence Day

20th Century Fox

With confirmation that Bill Pullman would reprise his role as President Whitmore in the Independence Day sequel, we hoped and sort of expected Mae Whitman would return as his daughter, Patricia. Sure, we’d already heard about one kid being recast – Jessie Usher is playing Dylan, son of Vivica A. Fox’s character, instead of Ross Bagley – and I’ve made a guess that Charlotte Gainsbourg might be filling in for Lisa Jakub as Alicia, daughter of Randy Quaid’s character. But Whitman is an even bigger name now than when she was seven years old in ID4. Plus she just led an original movie (The Duff) that opened to $10m.

Unfortunately, actress Maika Monroe has just been announced for the role of the President’s daughter in Independence Day 2. Monroe (who was three when ID4 came out) has been on the rise for a couple years now, costarring in Labor Day and The Guest, but her real breakout came this year with the leading role in It Follows. It seems everything about that horror hit is now a hot commodity, including the movie itself, which is going to get a sequel of its own (maybe Whitman can star?). According to The Hollywood Reporter, Monroe’s character will also be “the love interest of Liam Hemsworth’s character.” Or, since he’s the new character, can’t we instead say he’s the love interest of the President’s daughter?

I’m not going to speculate that Whitman was denied or wasn’t asked to play the role. It’s possible that she wasn’t interested. She has expressed sadness on Twitter about the news, or maybe she’s simply expressing apology to fans who are disappointed about (and declaring a boycottin response to) the recasting. The Hollywood Reporter names four other names – Lucy Boynton, Merritt Patterson, Gabriella Wilde and Britt Robertson – as having been up for the “highly sought-after” part. Hopefully this didn’t come down to anyone involved with the movie deciding that Whitman wasn’t good enough to play romantic opposite Hemsworth.

So far, Independence Day 2 is bringing back Pullman, Fox, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner., as well as director Roland Emmerich. It’s scheduled for June 24, 2016.

Watch Whitman quizzed on her childhood roles, including the little Whitmore:

Christopher began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called 'Read,' back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials.