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16th Feb 2023

It has finally been explained how Will Smith will return for I Am Legend sequel

Rory Cashin


If you remember how I Am Legend ended, then this might come as a surprise…

Spoilers for 2007 movie I Am Legend ahead.

In case you’ve forgotten, at the end of I Am Legend, the character of Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) sacrifices himself with a grenade, taking out a cluster of the vampiric creatures with him, so that his fellow post-apocalyptic survivors Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan) can escape to a survivor’s camp in Vermont.

The 2007 movie was a big box office hit, making over $585 million worldwide, but due to how the story ends, it really felt like a one-and-done situation. Despite that, there has been talk around Hollywood over the last decade-and-a-half about a potential sequel, and this week the movie’s producer and writer Akiva Goldsman has confirmed how they’re going to get Will Smith back for the sequel: they’re working from the alternative ending.

Not seen in cinemas, but available on the movie’s DVD/BluRay release (and now also on internet), this different ending shows Neville and his co-survivors simply… walking away from the creatures after deciding to stop fighting. You can watch it in full right here:

During a chat with Deadline (which also brings up the plans for the Constantine sequel with Keanu Reeves), Goldsman says the following:

“This will start a few decades later than the first. I’m obsessed with The Last of Us, where we see the world just post-apocalypse but also after a 20-30-year lapse. You see how the earth reclaims the world, and there’s something beautiful in the question of, as man steps away from being the primary tenant, what happens? That will be especially visual in New York. I don’t know if they’ll climb up to the Empire State Building, but the possibilities are endless.

“We trace back to the original Matheson book, and the alternate ending as opposed to the released ending in the original film. What Matheson was talking about was that man’s time on the planet as the dominant species had come to an end. That’s a really interesting thing we’re going to get to explore. There will be a little more fidelity to the original text.”

It has not been confirmed that Francis Lawrence, who directed the original movie, will be back to direct this one, as he is currently finishing off his Hunger Games prequel (due to arrive in cinemas this November), and then will be on to work on the Constantine sequel.

Goldsman also stated that Michael B. Jordan will be involved in the I Am Legend sequel, and while he may be starring in it, considering that he recently made his directorial debut with the upcoming Creed III, he might be given the reins on this one.

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