Will Smith earned his reputation as one of Hollywood’s most captivating and dependable actors when he played the human protagonist in “I Am Legend” in 2007. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where most humans have been wiped out or turned into vampiric mutants known as Darkseekers, based on the 1954 Richard Matheson novel of the same name. The film follows Smith’s character, Dr. Robert Neville, as he strives to find a cure for the disease that changed the planet and, hopefully, connect with other human survivors in an overrun Manhattan.
When it was released in December 2007, the picture was a box office triumph, grossing over $585 million worldwide (according to BoxOfficeMojo), and receiving generally positive reviews from critics and casual viewers alike. The film presently has equal 68 percent audience and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Will Smith is scheduled to star in a “I Am Legend” sequel more than a decade after the first film’s release, but he isn’t the only renowned actor tied to the project.
Here’s all we know about “I Am Legend 2” so far.
I Am Legend 2 will unite two major movie stars
Will Smith has signed on to act in and executive produce a sequel to “I Am Legend,” according to Deadline. Smith appeared to corroborate the news on Instagram shortly after the article was published, posting an image of the post-apocalyptic Manhattan from the first film. In addition to Smith, the sequel will feature Michael B. Jordan of “Black Panther” and “Creed,” who will also executive produce the picture with his co-star.
The Jordan and Smith-led sequel will be written by Akiva Goldsman, who also co-wrote the 2007 adaptation of “I Am Legend.” As of this writing, it’s unclear whether “I Am Legend” director Francis Lawrence will return to direct the sequel, or if the sequel will be directed by someone else. The narrative of the film is also unknown at this time, and there is no scheduled release date.
Smith hesitated to give any major plot specifics when asked about the revelation in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, but dubbed the film’s concept “a really, really cool notion.” “It was one of those [movies] I was going to leave alone,” he added. However, Smith admitted he quickly reconsidered once he actually heard the exact pitch for the sequel. “But that might work,” Smith said. “I think we can do that.”
With two huge actors like Jordan and Smith attached to the project, it’s safe to anticipate that additional information and updates about “I Am Legend 2” will be released soon.
Will Dr. Neville return?
One of the most eagerly anticipated items for “I Am Legend” fans is how Smith will appear in the sequel, especially given his character’s apparent death at the end of the first film. There are currently no narrative specifics for the picture, but that, of course, provides plenty of space for speculation.
Dr. Neville might be returned to his pre-apocalyptic or mid-apocalyptic image using a combination of flashbacks and de-aging technologies. There’s probably still a lot to say about the first three years after the Krippin Virus broke out. As a result of his role in 2019’s “Gemini Man,” in which Smith’s character battles a younger version of himself, Smith is no stranger to Hollywood’s de-aging treatments (via IMDb). However, this may be one of the more predictable approaches that writers might take.
Another option for bringing Dr. Neville back to the big screen is an alternate ending to the 2007 film. Dr. Neville sacrifices himself in the theatrical version of “I Am Legend” in order to rescue a cure for humanity’s future. On the surface, this sight appears to be very clear. Dr. Neville is deceased by the end of the theatrical cut. However, die-hard fans of the film will recall a different ending included on the DVD (which can be viewed on YouTube).
The alternate ending is notable for its tighter adherence to the original material, in addition to being popular online (via CinemaBlend). Rather than ending with a dramatic sacrifice, this finale allows Dr. Neville to make peace with the Darkseekers he has been attempting to “treat” for so long. Dr. Neville abandons his research and home after realising that his experiments have turned him into a monster. Dr. Neville makes peace with his new life by joining a community of human survivors in Vermont.
By the time the Oscars in 2022 rolled around, “I Am Legend 2” was still in the early stages of production. Will Smith, as everyone knows, punched Chris Rock at the event after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her alopecia. Many of Smith’s next projects have been placed on hold, including some that were already in post-production, so how will this affect “I Am Legend 2?”
Nothing has been said regarding the sequel’s status as of this writing (via People). When Deadline originally reported on the film’s development, no director had been attached. In the aftermath of the slap, it’s uncertain whether anyone will want to direct the project, but it’s probable that this production will be put on hold for a while until the slap’s heat subsides.