Mae Whitman is a remarkable young actor. Watching her on “Parenthood” for the full run of that show, she is so in touch with her emotional core that when she has to pull up the big stuff for her big scenes, it feels genuinely dangerous. She taps into something deep and real. And then on top of that, she’s funny. Very funny, actually. Her work on “Arrested Development” or in “The Duff” is confirmation of her lethal chops, and also her own ability to steer into the way Hollywood casts her, subverting it at the same time. “The Duff” felt like a break-through for her, a film that put her in the right light and made the case for her as an enormously appealing lead.

“Independence Day 2” would be lucky to have someone as talented as Mae Whitman in it, and this decision seems like such a blatant, tin-eared attempt to follow industry heat and pander to industry norms about who can or can’t be a lead in this kind of film that I’m feeling fed up before this thing even begins.

The case of the missing Mae Whitman and Independence Day 2

I’d cast Mae Whitman in everything if I could. 

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