Happy Independence Day, folks! July 4th is a day where people celebrate the United States, but pop culture fans also enjoy paying tribute to Captain America and talking about their favorite holiday movies. One such film is, of course, the 1996 classic Independence Day starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum. Many of the film's stars are still associated with the holiday 25 years later, and Smith is still doing his part to keep that tradition alive. The actor is currently in New Orleans filming his upcoming movie, Emancipation, which will follow a slave named Peter who escapes a Louisiana plantation and helps expose the brutality of slavery before fighting in the Civil War. The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that Smith decided to pay for the city's fireworks when he found out there would be none on the holiday.
According to the report, Smith decided to pick up the $100,000 fireworks tab once he learned the city didn't plan an event. The fireworks will be going off over the Mississippi River, marking the city's first July 4th celebration since before the pandemic. It was also Smith's decision to move the Emancipation production to Louisiana back in April after Georgia passed a new voting law that denies Black voters equal access to the ballot.
Smith's gift to New Orleans comes at the perfect time considering this week marked the 25th anniversary of Independence Day. Recently, ComicBook.com had the chance to chat with the movie's director, Roland Emmerich, who explained why the movie is set on July 4th.
"We also learned that Warner Bros. ... I had a good friend, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who became later a producer of the Transformers movies. I called him up and said, 'I heard that my favorite director, Tim Burton, is also doing something like this,'" Emmerich explained to ComicBook.com. "And he said, 'Yes, yes, yes.' And I said, 'When is that coming out?' And he said, 'Oh, that's slated for August.' And then I said to Dean, 'We have to do this earlier.' And he said like, 'Is that possible?' I said, 'Yeah, everything is possible,' and that's why the movie is called 'Independence Day,' because we had to find some sort of a way to tie it to a date which was before August."
Independence Day is currently available to stream on HBO Max.