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I Am Legend 2 Cast, Plot Possibilities, Writer And More Details

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In 2007, Will Smith guided moviegoers through the post-apocalypse with "I Am Legend." The film — a loose adaptation of the 1954 Richard Matheson novel of the same name — takes place in a world where most humans have either been wiped out by a virus or turned into vampiric mutants known as Darkseekers. The movie follows the efforts of Smith's Dr. Robert Neville, the sole human living in an overrun Manhattan, as he searches for a cure to the disease while looking for other human survivors.

The film was a box office success when it was released in December 2007, earning over $585 million worldwide and receiving generally positive reviews from critics. After all, it was the perfect popcorn movie, complete with riveting action scenes, serious chills, and more than a few heartbreaking moments (RIP Sam). Now, over a decade after the film's release, we're getting an "I Am Legend 2," which is kind of surprising considering how the first movie ended. If you want to know who's set to star, who's penning the script, and when we might see this new post-apocalyptic tale play out on the big screen, read on for everything you need to know about "I Am Legend 2."

When will I Am Legend 2 be released?

There have been rumblings of another "I Am Legend" for a long, long time. In 2008, word on the street was Will Smith would reunite with "Legend" director Francis Lawrence for a prequel, with Smith telling Collider the movie would focus on "the last stand on Manhattan," as the remaining humans battled the infected. Needless to say, that never panned out, nor did a Smith-less reboot based on a script that Deadline described as "a sci-fi version of John Wayne's 'The Searchers.'"

However, in March 2022, it was announced that Warner Bros. was finally moving ahead with a sequel ... but when exactly will we see it? Well, in July 2023, "I Am Legend 2" screenwriter Akiva Goldsman gave an interview to The Playlist and provided an update on the action-horror flick. During their conversation, Goldsman revealed the project — as well as the eagerly awaited "Constantine" sequel — is still in early development. However, at the time of the interview, Goldsman was unable to write due to the WGA strike.

But now that the work stoppages have ended, it looks like Goldsman got really busy on that script. In a December 2023 interview with Variety, star Will Smith told the trade that the "script just came in." If the screenplay is done, it's only a matter of time before the Darkseekers return to action.

Who is starring in I Am Legend 2?

If you were making an "I Am Legend 2," who's the last person you'd cast in the film? Will Smith, right? And not because of any Oscar-related controversies ... but because his character died in the first movie.

Well, clearly you're not thinking like a Hollywood executive! As it turns out, the Oscar-winning actor will indeed return for the sequel and reprise the role of Dr. Robert Neville. How so? We'll get to that in a little bit, but despite the strangeness of bringing his character back to life, we do have to say the first "I Am Legend" features one of Will Smith's best performances, so we'll be interested to see what he does with Robert Neville this time around.

Of course, Smith won't be the only major star in the movie. Michael B. Jordan will also be trying to survive the onslaught of Darkseekers. Needless to say, Jordan is best known for the "Black Panther" films and the "Creed" series, and we can't wait to watch him go to war with a whole slew of mutant vampire-zombies. And not only will he join Smith in the movie, both actors will also produce the sequel.

As for the rest of the cast, we're unsure who'll be joining Smith and Jordan, although we know that Alice Braga would love to return for part two. In the first film, Braga played the part of Anna, a survivor who saves Neville from a pack of Darkseekers. When speaking with Collider, Braga was asked if she was surprised about the sequel news. Her response? "I was super surprised and very curious. I was almost jumping on the phone and saying, 'Can I please be in it? Can I please be in it? Can I please be in it?'"

How is Will Smith's character alive in I Am Legend 2?

Unless you're watching the "Fast and the Furious" franchise, when movie characters die, they generally tend to stay dead. Sure, they might come back as a ghost (a la "Star Wars") or we might see them in a flashback (ABC's "Lost"), but creators rarely decide to just ignore the character's death and pretend like nothing ever happened.

But that's exactly what's going down in "I Am Legend 2," as Will Smith will play Robert Neville ... even though he died in the 2007 movie. In the film's theatrical ending, Neville heroically sacrifices his life to protect both his two human compatriots and a newly invented cure that could heal the infected Darkseekers. So how exactly is he coming back to life?

Well, there is an alternate ending where Neville actually survives and makes a remarkable discovery about the infected. During this version of events, Neville realizes the Darkseekers aren't just mindless monsters. They actually have thoughts and feelings, and the reason they've broken into his compound is to save the Darkseeker that Neville has captured and is currently running experiments on.

Similar to Richard Matheson's novel, Neville then realizes he's basically a monster to the Darkseekers — a "legend," if you will — and this revelation leads Neville to hand over the captive Darkseeker. Satisfied, the rest of her kind take her and go, with Neville and his allies leaving New York to search for other survivors. So "I Am Legend 2" will be following this version of events, and that's pretty great news for Will Smith fans.

What is the plot of I Am Legend 2?

Since "I Am Legend 2" will be following an alternate ending that didn't make the final cut, we'll find ourselves in a world where Robert Neville is still alive. And while we don't have an official plot synopsis, we do have an idea of where writer Akiva Goldsman will take the sequel.

In February 2023, the writer spoke with Deadline and explained his vision for "Legend 2," saying, "This will start a few decades later than the first [movie]. 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?"

Goldsman says this will be especially fertile ground as far as the Big Apple goes (which also means the film will take place in New York, despite the fact that the alternate ending sees Neville leaving the city behind). "I don't know if [the characters will] climb up to the Empire State Building," Goldsman said, "but the possibilities are endless." He also explained how the movie would be sticking close to the themes of Richard Matheson's novel. "What Matheson was talking about," Goldsman elaborated, "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."

Who is writing I Am Legend 2?

Working with Mark Protosevich, Akiva Goldsman penned the script for the original "I Am Legend," and now he's back for "I Am Legend 2." But are those the only screenplays that Goldsman has written? Ha, not hardly.

Chances are good that some of your very favorite films have been penned by Akiva Goldsman ... and possibly some of your least favorites as well. On the positive side of things, Goldsman has collaborated with Will Smith before, writing "I, Robot," and he also won an Academy Award for "A Beautiful Mind." He's penned the scripts for "Cinderella Man," "The Da Vinci Code," and "Practical Magic," and he's worked on TV shows such as "Fringe" and "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds."

On the more negative side of things, Goldsman is also responsible for the much-maligned "Dark Tower" movie, the massive bomb "Winter's Tale," both "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin," and the critically hated Tom Holland miniseries "The Crowded Room." Admittedly, it's a spotty record. But if he can recapture the magic of the first "I Am Legend," then we're super psyched to see what Goldsman has in store.

Will the infamous Oscar slap affect I Am Legend 2?

"I Am Legend 2" was in early development when the 2022 Oscars rolled around. Of course, as everyone knows by now, Will Smith hit Chris Rock during the ceremony after the comedian made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The incident had an immediate effect on some of Smith's projects, with Netflix pressing the pause button on their crime flick "Fast and Loose" and Apple TV+ reportedly pushing back the slavery drama "Emancipation" to 2023 due to the slap.

However, Smith is an A-list, Oscar-winning movie star, and the media cycle moves on pretty fast. As a result, the actor still has projects on the horizon, such as the upcoming "Bad Boys 4." It also appears that "I Am Legend 2" is moving forward, with Smith in a leading role, despite his on-stage behavior. While we may never forget that infamous Oscar night, it doesn't seem to have had much impact on Smith's blockbuster projects.

Where to watch I Am Legend

While you're waiting for "I Am Legend 2," it might be a good idea to go back and check out the original film. Or perhaps you didn't get to witness Will Smith hanging out with mannequins and hunting deer through Manhattan back in 2007, so maybe you want to watch "I Am Legend" for the first time. Either way, we've got you covered.

You can rent the original horror-action movie for $3.79 on Amazon, or you can get it for $3.99 on streamers such as Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, or Vudu. Of course, you'll also need to check out the alternate ending, as that's key to understanding how Robert Neville is still alive in the sequel. You can actually buy that version of the movie for $12.99 on Vudu.