After over 15 years, Warner Bros. is finally moving forward with I Am Legend 2, a sequel to the 2007 sci-fi/horror hit. Will Smith starred in the original I Am Legend, a critical and commercial success directed by Francis Lawrence. I Am Legend as based on the classic novel of the same name by the late Richard Matheson, and is widely considered a highlight of the big-budget CGI blockbusters that 2000s cinema is now synonymous with. It also remains one of the strongest entries in Will Smith’s filmography.
Since the success of I Am Legend, there has long been talk of a follow-up. However, a conundrum was that that Will Smith was a big factor in this success, but his character Robert Neville died in the controversial climax. While a prequel had been suggested, an I Am Legend sequel was eventually greenlit, with Michael B. Jordan signing on and, much to the equal shock and delight of many, Will Smith returning. Since I Am Legend grossed over half a billion, it’s easy to see why Warner Bros. are willing to make serious continuity changes to ensure its winning Will Smith zombie movie formula isn’t tampered with.
Latest I Am Legend 2 News
While I Am Legend 2 seemed stalled in development hell for some time, a February 2023 announcement for the I Am Legend sequel (via Deadline) clarified a lot of things. It was confirmed that the sequel would not follow the original theatrical ending, but instead act as a continuation of the alternate ending of I Am Legend in which Will Smith’s Robert Neville survives. This decision is a drastic one, as it means I Am Legend 2 will have to find a way to explain why it’s ignoring the end of I Am Legend — a detail which filmmaker Akiva Goldman, who made the announcement, didn’t elaborate on.
I Am Legend 2 Is Confirmed
On March 4, 2022, reports confirmed that Warner Bros. was actively developing I Am Legend 2. In an encouraging sign for those who enjoyed the first I Am Legend, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman is returning to pen the script. A follow-up to I Am Legend, originally planned as a prequel starring Smith, was teased for several years following the success of the movie, but ultimately didn’t pan out. It isn’t clear at present if director Francis Lawrence will also be back, as no directing deal has been signed as yet.
I Am Legend 2 Release Date
Will Smith returning in I Am Legend 2 is great news, but the I Am Legend sequel does not yet have a release date. However, in the interview in which writer Akiva Goldsman detailed the new story elements, he suggested the sequel was being fast-tracked as part of his new first-look deal with Warner Bros. This could mean that a release date announcement isn’t too far away.
I Am Legend 2 Cast
Will Smith will be returning to his role of Robert Neville in I Am Legend, and the reveal that the alternate I Am Legend ending is the basis for the sequel means his appearance won’t just be in flashbacks or footage of Neville’s experiment logs. Smith gave a powerful performance in the first movie, often as the only human on screen. Creed star Michael B. Jordan has also been announced as part of the I Am Legend 2 team with no confirmation as to the character he will be playing. It is also unclear if Neville’s fellow survivors, Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan) will return as well.
I Am Legend 2 Story Details
After a lot of questions surrounding I Am Legend 2, Akiva Goldsman has shed a lot of light on the sequel. He confirms the movie will take place decades after the events of the first movie, suggesting some big changes to the post-apocalyptic world. He also confirmed the new movie would do away with the original ending in which Neville sacrifices himself to kill the mutants and allow Anna and Ethan to escape. Instead, the sequel will follow the alternate ending that was closer to the I Am Legend book.
In the ending I Am Legend 2 will follow, Neville realizes the infected aren’t there to kill him, but rather to save one of their own — the infected Neville captured as a test subject. He then understands that they see him as the monster. Goldsman also pointed to The Last of Us as a strong inspiration for the sequel. He admitted that he was interested in examining a post-apocalyptic world after nature had taken over once again. He also hinted that the story would take place in New York City just as I Am Legend did.
NEXT: I Am Legend’s Alternate Ending Explained: What Happens & Why It Was Cut