A follow-up to Will Smith’s 2007 science fiction drama, I Am Legend, has long been discussed, but only in recent years has the project truly picked up momentum. It was in March 2022 that Smith was confirmed to be making the sequel to the action movie alongside a major co-star. Michael B. Jordan is set to join the franchise with this installment and, thus far, a number of fans seem pumped. Updates have been few and far between since the announcement, however. Thankfully though, Smith has now provided the public with a spot of news regarding how production is going.
The Oscar winner isn’t one to spill too many beans when it comes to his most highly anticipated productions. However, when he attended the Red Sea International Film Festival, he shared some small nuggets with those in attendance. The good news is that the movie is definitely still happening and, though he didn’t say when filming will begin, he confirmed (via Variety) that he and Michael B. Jordan would be speaking soon. He also reiterated just how his character, Dr. Robert Neville would be able to return for this second go-around:
I am having a call tomorrow with Michael B. Jordan about [‘I Am Legend 2’]. You have to be a real ‘I Am Legend’ buff to know this, but in the first, theatrical version, my character dies, but on the DVD there was an alternate version of the ending where my character lived. We are going with the mythology of the DVD version. I can’t tell you anything more, but Michael B. Jordan is in.
Those who’ve seen the flick (which is one of Will Smith’s best movies) surely know that the theatrical version ends with Dr. Neville – a lone scientist in a post-apocalyptic New York – dying. Neville did so by sacrificing himself in order to ensure that the cure for the disease would reach the remaining portion of mankind. However, as mentioned above, the DVD contained an alternate ending, in which Neville survived. This past February is when it was first revealed that Smith’s sequel would retcon the ending audiences saw in theaters well over a decade ago. It’s a smart move and one that ensures this franchise continues on with its leading man.
Still, there are a number of unknown variables regarding this new installment. The premise remains a mystery, and Michael B. Jordan’s character has yet to be revealed. Jordan could end up portraying a long-thought-dead relative of Neville, but that might be a bit too on the nose. If anything, Jordan could just portray someone Robert comes into contact with as he continues to navigate the ravaged world he inhabits.
What is known about I Am Legend 2 – aside from the fact that the two leads are set – is that Francis Lawrence (who’s known for helming Hunger Games films) is returning to direct. Akiva Goldsman is also penning the script again as well and will resume producing duties. Goldsman teased that the film will channel The Last of Us – Playstation’s zombie franchise, which was adapted into a TV show by HBO – in some ways as well.
Although it’s still early and more information is needed, Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan’s film could work. They’re both capable leads and, if there’s a strong enough story at play that can service both of them, this could be an entertaining flick. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before further information on its filming schedule is divulged. I’m sure Smith will provide updates on social media when he’s able but, until then, it appears he’s keeping his mouth shut.
Anyone who’d like to revisit I Am Legend or watch it for the first time can rent or buy it on Prime Video. Do yourself a favor and also look over the schedule of 2023 new movie releases for information on films hitting theaters through the end of the year.