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Will There Ever Be An I, Robot 2?

Sometimes a film leaves viewers wondering about a sequel, and the Alex Proyas film "I, Robot" definitely has potential for a follow-up film. Released in 2004 and starring Will Smith, "I, Robot" is the story of homicide detective Del Spooner (Smith), a human in a future world where robots both work for and protect humanity as autonomous service workers. Spooner dislikes robots in the extreme, and over the course of the film, he finds himself paired with a robot named Sonny (Alan Tudyk) who doesn't behave like the other machines: Sonny can lie, can threaten people to protect its life, and ultimately proves to be the first step in a conspiracy that could prove to be the downfall of the human race. While by no means faithful to the "I, Robot" book of the same name by writer Isaac Asimov (a collection of short stories about robots in the future), the film was a hit at the box office. So could a sequel be possible?

The potential for further stories

"I, Robot" eschewed much of the complexity of Asimov's work, save for his famous Three Laws of Robotics (via DIY Robotics). The film is more of an action thriller: Spooner and Sonny fight to save the world from the forces behind the conspiracy, though, by the film's end there is the possibility of humans and robots living as equals, with the future of both species an uncertain one. Sonny grants other robots free will, and it's clear that the robots have a future beyond being merely tools or servants but actually thinking and living beings all their own.

Sonny and Spooner bonded over the course of "I, Robot," going from reluctant allies to friends by the film's end. A sequel does have the potential to explore that relationship further, particularly by acknowledging that Spooner has aged in the intervening years since the film's 2004 release. However, while there is enough story material to explore in a sequel, and though "I, Robot" was a success at the box office, it's doubtful that we'll ever see an "I, Robot 2."

The chances of a sequel

The film was a hit for Smith, but it never quite had the lasting impact of other films in the actor's resume: "Bad Boys," "Men in Black," even "I Am Legend" all left much deeper impressions and a demand for more stories. Add to that the fact that series like HBO's "Westworld" have already tread much of the same ground when it comes to exploring sentient machines and the role of free will vs. control. A sequel to "I, Robot" has begun to feel somewhat redundant at this point in time. While there's always a possibility that a sequel could appear on a streaming service — or even that some creators might pursue a spinoff television series utilizing the setting as either a reboot or a continuation — the fact that it's been nearly two decades without any movement on a sequel makes "I, Robot 2" a highly unlikely prospect.