‘I Am Legend 2′ Isn’t Happening; Co-writer Talks Abandoned Ideas

Published 8 months ago by

i am legend 2 not happening I Am Legend 2 Isnt Happening; Co writer Talks Abandoned Ideas

Some two years ago, many an eyebrow was raised when a report emerged claiming that Warner Bros. had begun development on a sequel to the sci-fi post-apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend as a new starring vehicle for Will Smith – seeing how his character from the first movie, scientist Robert Neville, was having trouble with things like breathing and being alive by the movie’s end (unlike in the alternate conclusion to the film that had been originally shot, but later discarded for the theatrical cut).

Cut to the present and I Am Legend‘s Oscar-winning co-writer/producer Akiva Goldsman has now confirmed that the proposed sequel, as well as the long-rumored prequel, are very much dead in the water. As such, Goldsman has spilled the goods and revealed a few of the ideas that were tossed around the writers’ room – including, how to resurrect Smith’s protagonist for I Am Legend 2.

Goldsman was being interviewed by io9 in connection to his directorial debut Winter’s Tale (which arrives in theaters this week), when the topic of the I Am Legend would-be franchise was broached. At first, Goldsman appeared to deny that there was ever “talk” of an I Am Legend 2, but he then clarified his real meaning – that neither a sequel nor a prequel was ever given an official green-light to move forward:

Oh no no, [there was] never a movie. I mean, we wrote a prequel [and] a sequel. We had a really interesting prequel, which was the first outbreak of the virus, during a Thanksgiving Day parade, which was awesome. We did a really interesting prequel that [took place] later. Which was right after the first… really right when the population of of humans became pretty decimated. And it was this sort of trek to Washington. Which included a dark seeker elephant that had broken out of the zoo.

As for the abandoned I Am Legend 2 story treatment, Goldsman added “That started with Neville again — and you realized that he was cloned.” He then emphasized that such a version of the project “will never happen,” but that he and his collaborators very much enjoyed the process of getting to try and crack that particularly hard nut.

Will Smith Not Returning for I Am Legend 2 I Am Legend 2 Isnt Happening; Co writer Talks Abandoned Ideas

Obviously, we don’t have all the details, but based on Goldsman’s comments alone, one can start to piece together why the proposed I Am Legend 2 might’ve failed to win studio heads over. For one, the clone explanation would’ve invalidated Neville’s sacrifice (as well as its thematic repercussions) in the first movie, through what sounds like a rather contrived plot device. Similarly, the theatrical cut of I Am Legend was by and large a self-contained story; ironically, the abandoned ending might’ve not only made a sequel with Smith a more logical extension of the narrative, but it would’ve also better preserved the significance (and meaning) of the title of Richard Matheson’s source material.

Then again, Smith never seemed all that interested in sequel-izing I Am Legend, for reasons similar to those behind his lukewarm interest towards the upcoming sci-fi tentpole installments Independence Day 2 and Men in Black 4 (neither of which he is expected to star in). So, all things considered, it might’ve always been that this is one franchise that just wasn’t in the cards.

Would you have liked to see the proposed (or a different) version of I Am Legend 2 and/or the prequel – or were you never that interested in seeing these projects happen?

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Source: io9

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TAGS: i am legend, i am legend 2

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  1. well i was hoping for a sequel but with the idea that i have read i really don’t care that they scrap the movie now

  2. Mr. Blobby wanted both! Mr. Blobby sad now neither are happening. Mr. Smith should do sequels so he doesn’t anger fans.

    Mr. Blobby over and out.

  3. I would have rather they stuck to the original ending. It was much better IMO. They would also have been in much better shape for a sequel, but that’s not the reason why I preferred that ending. Sure in the official ending he sacrificed himself by essentially being a suicide bomber (for the woman who basically lead them to him in the first place), but in the alternate ending he actually learned something about the creatures and realized he was wrong about them, which is much more interesting than just killing yourself and learning nothing.

    • Yeah, totally agreed. The fact that he blew himself up to stop them and help the survivors escape makes me wonder how they’d have a sequel with Will as the lead again unless they re-released the movie with the original ending and said “yeah, we flubbed, this is the real ending” before announcing a sequel.

      Otherwise, it would make no sense.

      • I guess the clone idea could have dealt with it, but I think it would have seemed a cheap way out in order to justify a sequel – and we know how well that turns out Alien 4 .

      • yeap,totally you are right, i am leving usa for couple years, and i miss the time i lived there

    • Honestly, I was fine with the original ending. The vampires came off as mindless animals. Regardless of whether or not that was the case, it was the perception and I knew all I needed by the end of the film for the ending to be justified. Why would I want to know more about them? Why would he have wanted to learn anything aside from a possible way to save them?

      • Because it makes them much more interesting characters, and also shows that we can be wrong in our assumptions if we are closed minded like the main character was.

  4. I thought I Am Legend was disappointing. They had a great premise and one of the most charismatic actors in Hollywood, but they just made an average film. They could have done much better.

  5. With the way Hollywood is going and Will Smith’s current reputation at the box office, and the way the last movies rated with critics. He’d better come back with movies that will justify him avoiding these sequels. At least other stars leave room open for… “if the script is right”

  6. watch WWZ then I am Legend and follow up with Book Of Eli

    thats your 3

    • That sounds like a great idea, next movie marathon sorted

  7. The first one was eh. Poorly CGI’d naked mole rat people just don’t make good antagonists. I don’t know why they couldn’t just be vampires like they were supposed to. The prequel could have been an interesting idea but it would probably feel a lot like World War Z.

  8. Not happening? Good! The first one stunk, and was not up to the standards of wither the book or even the one with Charlton Heston.

    • Agreed! I actually prefer the Heston film, although of course, it is dated with its makeup and special effects.

  9. Thank you Jesus.

  10. I Am Legend was horrible. I used to like Will Smith long ago, but this movie solidified why I can’t stand the guy now. Horrible acting and huge ego.

    • Plus frankly, any film, even fiction, pretend, acting etc. that turns a dog into a vampire or abuses a dog in simulation, pretend, etc. or whatever, can be rammed up the tailpipes of the producers, writers, and directors. Being a huge animal lover, I refuse to watch that kind of film!

      • So you never watched John Carpenter’s “The Thing”? (cause of the dog thing) ;)

      • So you’re not much of a human lover then? Since you’re apparently ok with that stuff being done to humans?

        • Exactly my thought. Amazing people who care more for animals than people. (And I am not an animal hater)

  11. Modesto like Will Smith but the fame got to him a little. Not as bad as others but he has become unlikable in public. His latest acting performances have been stale. He can’t relate to us small folk anymore.

  12. He needs to do more biographical movies. “Ali” and “Pursuit of Happyness” were his best roles in my opinion. His “gung-ho” or “heroic” persona has gotten stale.

    • He plays the same character in every action movie that he’s in, basically a riff of his MIB/Independence Day character. Same is happening with Johnny Depp lately; he used to be reliable, but now it’s all shades of Jack Sparrow.

      • Tom Cruise is like that, also. His characters all look alike and act alike. Whether he is talented or not, let’s see a bit of diversity of character and variety!

  13. The first was horrible and a mockery of the source material, so I’m glad they’re not continuing it.

  14. Better preserved the significance (and meaning) of the title of Richard Matheson’s source material?

    On order to do that, they would have had to have actually followed the source materials narrative… the one where the opposition were not feral mutants and Neville was a legend because the remaining remnants of society feared him as a mass murderer (as revealed at the end, when the reader discovers that Neville’s perception of his world and his supposed duty was opposite reality).

  15. The studio still trying to cash in on the “zombie” craze.

    With the huge success of The Walking Dead on TV and last year’s World War Z, Hollywood studios are making zombie movies left & right.

    Why can’t they do a Marvel Zombie movie ?

  16. Good. It doesn’t need a sequel.

  17. A sequel? How come? he’s dead. Even in the novel, he’s also dead. Prequel? Great idea

  18. Soooooo….he won’t do this but he will do After Earth?

  19. so they were gonna to have two prequels?