I Am Legend 2 is in the works, and an addition to the cast, which had primarily featured Will Smith in the original film, suggests the sequel is going in the right direction. Based on the book by Richard Matheson, I Am Legend released theatrically in 2007 and went on to become a critical and box office success, grossing more than $500 million. The sequel was officially announced in 2022, after a few failed attempts to bring I Am Legend 2 to the big screen.
The sequel will be set decades after the original film, and writer Akiva Goldsman confirmed it would rely heavily on Matheson’s novel for its storytelling direction. Smith will return for I Am Legend 2, and the sequel will use the alternate ending instead of the original theatrical conclusion to justify the actor’s return. (Smith’s character, Dr. Robert Neville, sacrificed himself in I Am Legend’s finale.) Smith will be joined by Michael B. Jordan for the sequel. The details of Jordan’s role, however, remain under wraps for now, but his casting is a great sign for I Am Legend 2, partially because it doesn’t have to rely solely on Neville to tell its story.
Michael B. Jordan’s Starring Role Means A Better Character Focus
Michael B. Jordan’s starring role is crucial to I Am Legend 2’s success. It means the sequel is going in a new direction instead of continuing to focus on Dr. Neville. Centering a new character means the world of I Am Legend is more thoroughly developed and not beholden to Neville’s life or loner tendencies. In I Am Legend’s alternate ending, Neville survives and goes with Anna and Ethan to find a human colony and spread the cure.
It’s possible this is where Jordan’s character comes into play; he could be someone who had grown up in the human colony in Vermont. Jordan’s I Am Legend 2 character could be more connected to people, which brings a new and refreshing angle to the sequel’s storyline. Shifting the focus is also refreshing — it could mean the introduction of new characters, ones who are connected to Jordan’s character and the overarching plot.
What Role Will Smith Can Play In The Sequel
Smith’s return in I Am Legend 2 is not surprising considering the use of the original film’s alternate ending. While he may no longer be the main character, it’s possible the sequel will explore Dr. Neville’s assimilation into human society. He was alone for so long that it will likely be jarring to return to civilization and develop human connections. I Am Legend 2 being set decades after the original film could mean these scenes might appear in a flashback, leaving Dr. Neville to potentially work with Jordan’s character in the present day.
Jordan’s starring role could push Will Smith to the background, but it doesn’t mean his role will be any less important. The fact that Neville found the cure at the end of I Am Legend suggests he will, at the very least, be consulted about it. If he spearheaded the initiative within the human colony, it’d make him a medical leader decades later. It’s also possible Dr. Neville is a mentor and father figure to Jordan’s character, offering advice and more when needed. Smith was integral to the success of the original film. Whatever role he’ll play in I Am Legend 2 will be meaty enough, even if he’s no longer the focus.
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