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Why Will Smith's I Am Legend 2 Has Fans Of The Original Movie Confused

"I Am Legend" was released in 2007, and it proved to be a fairly big success with audiences. The film — which follows Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith), one of the few survivors of a deadly viral outbreak that has transformed the world's population into grotesque vampiric monsters – grossed $585 million worldwide on a budget of around $150 million (per Box Office Mojo). The film was also moderately well received by critics, accumulating a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, with much of the praise being directed at Smith's performance.

Considering that the film was a box office success, it's no surprise that a sequel has been talked about since the original film was released. Finally, in March of 2022, Deadline reported that a sequel involving both Smith and actor Michael B. Jordan was officially underway. Of course, since that time, there's been some controversy surrounding Smith and the incident at the Academy Awards, and what exactly that means for his career. But beyond that, the plans for a sequel that once again stars Smith has caused some confusion among those who saw the first movie.

Will Smith's character died in I Am Legend's theatrical ending

In the theatrically released version of "I Am Legend," Will Smith's character Robert Neville died at the end of the film after blowing himself and the zombie-vampire-like Darkseekers up in his lab in order to preserve his cure and save the lives of Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan). Naturally, this has created a level of confusion among fans regarding the fact that Smith is slated to once again star in "I Am Legend 2."

Over on the r/movies subreddit, many comments were wondering just this. However, as u/ROBtimusPrime1995 points out, an alternate ending for the film exists in which Smith's character survives after discovering that the Darkseekers are more human than he realizes. Some have argued over the years that the alternate ending is superior to the theatrical ending (per Cinema Blend), and Warner Bros. Pictures making the alternate ending the official ending would certainly make a sequel less confusing.

Whether or not this is the direction "I Am Legend 2" takes remains to be seen, but it's certainly one of the easiest paths the sequel could go down.