Will Smith might not be able to take back The Slap, but at least some things can be fixed in post production — it seems the I Am Legend 2 creative team is finding a way to get around the fact that Will Smith's character died at the end of the original film, so that they can bring him back for the sequel.
Yes, believe it or not, Will Smith is apparently set to return to his lead role as the postapocalyptic survivor Dr. Robert Neville in a sequel to the 2007 supernatural action film I Am Legend. Joining him in the sequel will be fellow blockbuster lead actor Michael B. Jordan, who will also serve as a producer and had a hand in convincing Smith to reprise the character.
According to an interview Smith did with Entertainment Tonight back in March 2022, Smith recalled “The idea came up. I can't talk about it yet. But it's a really, really cool concept, and he was a part of creating the idea,” Smith said, speaking of Jordan. “So it was one of those ones I was gonna leave alone, and then I heard the idea. I was like, ‘That might work. I think we can do that.”
“I Am Legend” starred Smith as the only survivor of an apocalypse that turns humans into Darkseekers, seemingly mindless mutant vampires. At the end of the movie — at least in its theatrical cut — Dr. Robert Neville sacrifices himself so that Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan) can escape from the Darkseekers.
But according to an interview the screenwriter Akiva Goldsman did with Deadline, the sequel will follow an alternate ending that was included on the DVD's home release. And who among us hasn't seen the DVD alternate ending of I Am Legend, am I right? I'm sure no one will be confused in the least. Luckily we can rent it again thanks to Netflix's booming DVD by mail service.
According to Goldsman, the sequel will “start a few decades later than the first” and adhere more closely to the book the film is based on. In the alternate ending, Neville makes peace with the Darkseekers by giving them the female Darkseeker he had been experimenting on to find a cure for the mutants. Neville realizes he's come to seem like a monster to the Darkseekers and they are simply trying to defend themselves against him. They then all sign each other's yearbooks “Have a great summer” and Neville leaves New York to find other survivors with Anna and Ethan (or something to that effect – I'll confirm as soon as I find the plug for my DVD player).
Regardless, let's not nitpick or pull threads on how a pesky detail like a lead character's death at the end of a film could impede the possibilities for a sequel. This is Will Smith we're talking about here — he can do anything! Except avoid slapping a comedian at an awards show.