SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The movie theater at Fort Huachuca was packed Tuesday afternoon with hundreds of soldiers there for the premiere of Independence Day 2: Resurgence.
20th Century Fox collaborated with the Army to highlight the Army’s tech-savvy Soldiers and high-tech capabilities which is one reason they chose Fort Huachuca for a special premiere.
Cast members Judd Hirsch (returning in his role as Julius Levinson) and Jessie T. Usher (plays Dylan Hiller, the son of Will Smith from the first movie) came along for the premier and while on post they got a tour and a chance to experience life as a soldier.
Hirsch and Usher ate lunch at the mess hall with soldiers once they arrived. Later they practiced missile strikes in the drone simulator before going to see the Grey Eagle in person at one of the Army's hangars.
"Now I look at everything is very much more modern," said Hirsch after the tour, he was in the Army. "I keep thinking, I didn't have that, they didn't feed us like this, we didn't have buildings like this."
Usher says it was interesting to see all the technology the Army uses. Now that soldiers will be seeing him play one of their own on screen, he has one concern - did he do everything correctly?
"I'm really hoping I don't let these guys down. I hate watching and you don't salute right, I know my salute was good but I'm wondering what else they are going to be watching for. I want to make them proud," said Usher.
Undersecretary of the Army, Patrick Murphy, was at Fort Huachuca for the premiere as well. He says they are excited to have the cast on the post and to see what they do.
"Fort Huachuca does phenomenal things, when you talk about UAV, when you talk about cyber, when you talk about signal intelligence. They are phenomenal," he said.
Murphy added that their social media accounts with the Army have more hits since talk of the movie came out which could help them recruit the next generation of soldiers.
Among the hundreds at Fort Huachuca who had the chance to see the early screening was Private Michael Andersen. The 1996 original is one of his favorite movies of all time.
"This is a big enjoyment for me sir," said Andersen.
So what does he think about the sequel?
"This gives you an opportunity to see more of the aliens and learn why they are interested in Earth so much," he said.
Murphy gives it two thumbs up.
Independence Day 2: Resurgence comes out on Friday, June 24.