It perhaps wasn’t too surprising that Will Smith would be returning to the sun-kissed Miami skies of Bad Boys with the recently announced sequel, but a follow-up to I Am Legend starring Michael B. Jordan took everyone by surprise when it was announced last year. Now we have a few more details about the sequel from writer Akiva Goldsman, who has been speaking about a story the studio has been attempting to crack for years.
Goldman was speaking with Deadline about taking his Weed Road production company back to Warner Bros., his work on another long-in-the-offing sequel with Constantine 2, and I am Legend 2, on which he revealed that the follow-up would lean into Richard Matheson’s novel more than the original film did.
“This will start a few decades later than the first,” Goldman 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. 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,” Goldman continued. “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.”
2007’s I Am Legend was a loose adaptation of Richard Matheson’s superb novel, and followed Robert Neville, a virologist immune to a virus that wiped out the world. We follow Neville as he attempts to survive in the isolated New York City, fight to make a cure, and hold his own against nocturnal mutants. It was the third feature film adaptation of the book following 1964’s The Last Man on Earth and 1971’s The Omega Man and grossed a whopping $585.4 million worldwide.
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