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Will Smith's Return In I Am Legend 2 Is All Thanks To That Alternate Ending

In a matter of weeks, Will Smith has been confirmed for not one but two sequels to a pair of the most notable films in his career. Besides reuniting with Martin Lawrence in a fourth "Bad Boys" film, it was announced this week that he'd be returning to the world of "I Am Legend" — only this time with some brand new backup. Handled once again by director Francis Lawrence, who helmed the first film back in 2007, the sequel that doesn't but definitely should have the working title of "I Am Legend Too" will see Smith fighting off the end of the world alongside current "Creed III" star and director, Michael B. Jordan.

"Wait a second," we hear you cry. "Isn't a sequel starring Smith going to be a tad difficult given that his character Robert Neville blew himself up in the first film?" Well, you're absolutely right. Neville applied the last nail to his coffin personally to provide a cure for humanity and put an end to those pasty same-looking CGI Darkseekers, becoming a legend in his own right. Thankfully though, through the miracle of movie magic (and saved footage from a poor test audience reception), Neville is back in action, but what happened in the unused ending that allowed this to be? Well, it was a far happier finale than the one we got and would make a sequel much more feasible.

Neville's survival in the alternate ending fortifies an I Am Legend sequel

Available for all the DVD player-owning world to see, the original home release of "I Am Legend" on the iconic shiny disc came with an alternate ending that is now being slipped back into the timeline and confirmed as the official ending. For those who might have missed it, this secret and slightly more positive closing scene saw Neville, who trades with the alpha male Darkseeker in exchange for his mate, who the doctor has been experimenting on to find a cure for the disease. After the creature flees with his group, Neville is shocked to realize that he has become a monster of his own, following the numerous failed trials he's applied to the Darkseekers he's captured that, before crossing his paths, were living in a new state of being.

From there, Neville and Alice Braga's character, Anna, head to Vermont, hoping to find other human survivors and leave the basic-looking CGI beasties alone in New York. All's well that ends well, even though we didn't see it initially. However, with this alternate exit back on the board, what could it mean for the newly planned sequel, and what part does Michael B. Jordan have to play in it?

Could Jordan be a friend or foe in the future of I Am Legend?

The alternate "I Am Legend" ending leaves many gaps the new installment will need to fill, which the original already tended to. For one, even after finding a cure, Neville's perspective changed after returning the reinfected Darkseeker to the group's Alpha, accepting that this new sub-species of humans don't want to be cured. Given that this is set years after the first film, this view could cause some friction with most human survivors that never caught the bug and still see them as a threat, Jordan's character included.

It would make for a welcome change of pace to see these two great stars facing off against one another and going against what many people might anticipate. That said, seeing them side by side and Jordan's role in the film putting him in line with Neville's insight and experience would make for an equally compelling watch. With the box office thriving by way of legacyquels, this could come with the same hype levels as Tom Cruise and Miles Teller in "Top Gun: Maverick." However, there will be fewer jets and more jumping CGI vampires that run like Usain Bolt. If they really want to throw a curve ball, they could do away with the original Darkseekers design and have Jordan be a new breed of monster squaring off against Smith's seasoned survivor of the apocalypse. Either way, it's a collaborative effort that has the potential to reach legendary status.