Will Smith is heading back into a post-apocalyptic world in I Am Legend 2, a sequel to the 2007 action thriller.
The film follows Smith as a lone survivor in New York, after a virus designed to cure cancer wipes out most of mankind; those who aren’t killed are transformed into vampire-like mutants who feed on the uninfected survivors.
The sequel will ignore the widely criticised ending of the first film, in which Smith’s character Dr Robert Neville sacrificed himself, and instead treat the alternate ending to the first movie as canon.
The alternative ending was filmed and released on DVD, and showed Smith's character surviving after managing to fend off a final attack from the infected.
Here’s everything we know about the forthcoming sequel.
I Am Legend 2 release date speculation
With I Am Legend 2 still in the early stages of development, an official release date is yet to be confirmed.
The sequel was officially announced back in March 2022, with Akiva Goldsman, who wrote the first movie, set to return to write the script.
While the project seemed to be stuck in development hell for some time, Deadline reported I Am Legend 2 was still moving ahead in February 2023, with Warner Bros re-teaming with Goldsman’s production company Weed Road in a multi-year first-look deal.
Goldsman said of the deal: "We’re starting with two projects that are fun and very much Warners; the sequel to I Am Legend, with Will and Michael B Jordan, and the sequel to Constantine with Keanu Reeves that Francis Lawrence is going to direct.
"So I’m coming out of the gate fast. We’re doing it with JJ Abrams, and Francis and Keanu and I have been pretty deep in the story breaking stage."
When I Am Legend was first released, the movie grossed $585 million worldwide.
I Am Legend 2 cast: Is Michael B Jordan starring in the sequel?
With the ending included on the home release taken as canon, Will Smith is set to reprise his role as scientist Robert Neville in I Am Legend 2.
Smith previously admitted at one point he "was gonna leave [I Am Legend] alone", but after hearing the latest pitch for the sequel, he was keen to return.
"The idea came up. I can’t talk about it yet. But it’s a really, really cool concept and [Michael B Jordan] was a part of creating the idea. It was one of those I was gonna leave alone, and then I heard the idea. But that might work, I think we can do that," he said.
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The only other cast member announced at this stage is newcomer Jordan (Black Panther, Creed). The actor’s role in the film remains unclear. Both Smith and Jordan are also credited as producers.
I Am Legend 2 plot: What could happen in the sequel?
Little is known about the plot of I Am Legend 2, but we do know a few facts about the film's setting and inspirations.
The sequel will use 2007’s alternative ending as a launching point and depict the post-apocalypse with "a 20-30 year lapse".
He said: "I’m obsessed with The Last of Us, where we see the world just post apocalypse but also after a 20-30-year lapse. It 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."
He added: "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."
I Am Legend 2 was initially conceived as a prequel, following Smith’s Richard Neville before the mutant outbreak, but this idea was eventually abandoned.
Speaking on an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, director Francis Lawrence admitted that "it just felt forced to do a prequel", before adding: "We've done the last man on earth, he died at the end of the movie, we can't do it again."
Is there a trailer for I Am Legend 2?
Not yet, but watch this space!
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