I Am Legend 2 will take I Am Legend‘s most hauntingly beautiful detail and make it even better. The long-awaited sequel will finally be a reality, with producer and writer Akiva Goldsman confirming that I Am Legend 2 is in the works and will be set several decades after the original. This came with the news that Will Smith would be returning to once again play Robert Neville, which means that the sequel will follow the alternate ending in which the ‘last man on earth’ survived. This opens the door to several exciting possibilities, including repeating—and improving—some of the best aspects of the original movie.
When I Am Legend hit theaters in 2007, audiences were mesmerized by the ideas the film explored. Though not strictly a zombie apocalypse move, it featured a world that had moved on from the rule of humanity and saw nature reclaim cities like New York in a shockingly short time. This was driven home by Smith’s melancholic performance and the idea that his extreme loneliness drove him to stop at nothing to find a cure. In I Am Legend‘s original ending, Neville was successful in spreading his findings, but in the alternate ending, which I Am Legend 2 will follow, Smith’s character learned a much harder lesson.
I Am Legend 2 Will Continue The Idea Of Nature Taking Over
The alternate ending of I Am Legend saw Robert Neville realize that the Darkseekers don’t want to be cured and are capable of connection and society without being ‘fixed.’ Therefore, I Am Legend 2 should continue to see a world where humanity, as it had been previously, is all but extinct. What’s more, Goldsman has teased (via Deadline) that the sequel will pick up 20 to 30 years after the first film’s ending. In the original movie, Neville had been living in an empty New York City for only three years, and greenery and wildlife had already taken over—so several decades having passed should make our world look unrecognizable.
The question of how the world would look if humans were to disappear from it is one that Goldsman has shared a fascination with. When talking about I Am Legend 2, the film writer said, “There’s something beautiful in the question of, as man steps away from being the primary tenant, what happens?” This was precisely what made I Am Legend so remarkable to watch, and the news that it will be a specific focus of the sequel is reassuring. Additionally, since Smith’s portrayal of Robert Neville was at the center of what made this concept work, the reveal that the character would be returning makes the prospects for I Am Legend 2 all the better.
What I Am Legend 2’s Time Jump Means For Will Smith’s Robert Neville
Since the original ending of I Am Legend saw Robert Neville sacrifice his life to save the world, the news that the character would be returning to the sequel was confirmation that the alternate ending was the newly established canon. This was great news since this version of the story is similar to the concepts in Richard Matheon’s I Am Legend book, where the vampires (called Darkseekers in the movie) was revealed to be just as capable of connection and society as the nearly extinct humans had been. Of course, Neville still died in the book, but he will be very much alive in I Am Legend 2.
Goldsman stated that the sequel would have “a little more fidelity to the original text,” which likely means that the idea of Will Smith’s character being the last piece of traditional humanity left on earth will be restored. Therefore, if Neville left behind his cure when he departed New York, it will be interesting to see how he lived his life in the following decades. Anything could go for the character in I Am Legend 2—but if he is again the last man on earth, the sequel will surely see him become the ‘legend’ he was meant to be.