Do We Really Need ‘I Am Legend 2’ Starring Will Smith & Michael B. Jordan?
— Updated on 20 February 2023

Do We Really Need ‘I Am Legend 2’ Starring Will Smith & Michael B. Jordan?

— Updated on 20 February 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

The internet is abuzz with the confirmation of I Am Legend 2 by producer/co-writer Akiva Goldsman, and yet our biggest question isn’t “how?” It’s “why?”

In conversation with Deadline, Goldsman revealed he’d signed a multi-year first look deal with Warner Bros involving the long-rumoured sequel starring Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan; as well as Constantine 2 with Keanu Reeves and director Francis Lawrence.

It’s unclear how Michael B. Jordan fits into the puzzle – perhaps he’s keen to helm another blockbuster after making his directorial debut with Creed 3 – although Goldsman has already explained the return of Will Smith’s US Army virologist Dr Robert Neville.

“We trace back to the original [Richard Matheson] book, and the alternate ending as opposed to the released ending in the original film,” said Akiva Goldsman.

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“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… This will start a few decades later than the first.”

For context, the theatrical ending ended in Dr Robert Neville sacrificing himself by charging into an entire hoard of vampiric “Darkseekers” with a grenade in hand, thereby allowing Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan) to escape to the Bethel survivors’ camp with a cure for the mutant pandemic.

The alternate ending, on the other hand, remains slightly more thematically consistent with I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, humanising the Darkseekers and ensuring Robert Neville’s survival.

The not-so-good doctor is left unscathed after returning one of his test subjects to the alpha male, which is revealed to be the latter’s mate. At that moment, Neville gazes upon the pictures of all his test subjects and realises he has become the monster in the eyes of the infected. Shortly after, he abandons his research efforts and flees with Anna and Ethan to Vermont in search of the survivors’ colony.

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The Hollywood veteran added: “I’m obsessed with HBO’s 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.”

Considering how I Am Legend grossed US$585.4 million against a US$150 million budget, and the recent resurgence of interesting surrounding zombie/pandemic/post-apocalyptic media, it’s understandable why Warner Bros has been doing everything in its power to get a follow-up off the ground since 2008.

But in an era of endless revivals, reboots, and remakes, for the time being, this strikes us as completely superfluous a la Bad Boys 4. Like Will Smith’s Dr Robert Neville, some things are better left dead.

Side note: if we have to watch another dog die onscreen, we riot.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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