A sequel movie to 2007’s I Am Legend was announced last year and set to star Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan. Now, writer Akiva Goldsman has revealed some of what to expect from the film, as well as what other zombie-like properties the film will pull inspiration from.
Speaking to Deadline, Goldsman — who wrote and produced the original film as well — confirmed that I Am Legend 2 will take place “a few decades” after the first one. Goldsman also pointed to another not-quite-zombie property, The Last of Us, as the inspiration behind that decision.
“This will start a few decades later than the first,” he said. “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? That will be especially visual in New York. I don’t know if they’ll climb up to the empire state building, but the possibilities are endless.”
Goldsman also touched on how the sequel will even star Smith in the first place. In the original film, Smith’s Robert Neville dies, sacrificing himself and killing one of the leaders of the “Darkseekers” in order to make sure the possibility of a cure is handed off. However, an alternate ending of the film was also made to be more in line with the original Richard Matheson novel.
In this ending, Neville realizes that the Darkseekers are simply trying to recover the mate of the alpha Darkseeker, and after returning it, the conflict ends. Neville then realizes that he has become a monster in the eyes of the infected, and abandons his research, instead moving on to find a survivor’s colony. According to Goldsman, this ending will be recognized as canon, with the sequel exploring man as struggles with not being the dominant species in the world any longer.
“We trace back to the original Matheson book, and the alternate ending as opposed to the released ending in the original film. What Matheson was talking about 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. There will be a little more fidelity to the original text.”