Is a sequel to Will Smith's 2007 film I Am Legend still happening? Talks of getting either an I Am Legend 2 or prequel on its feet following the release of the post-apocalyptic box office hit were happening for a short while. Eventually, all conversation of future I Am Legend died out. This is definitely not a good sign for those hoping a sequel (or prequel, for that matter) will materialize.
I Am Legend was the third adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name. Previously, the story had been made into 1964’s The Last Man On Earth starring Vincent Price and 1971's The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston. I Am Legend followed Robert Neville, a man who believes he is the only one left alive in New York City. With only his dog to keep him company, Robert must avoid vampire-like creatures that were once human hiding around the city as he forages for food and supplies by day. By night, Robert tries to find a cure for the virus that both wiped out lots of humans and turned the rest into the creatures he desperately tries to avoid.
With Smith as the lead and director Francis Lawrence at the helm, I Am Legend was a compelling watch. Audiences sure thought so because the film earned $256 million domestically and $585 million worldwide — a solid endorsement if ever there was one. But any talks of continuing the story or turning it into a prequel or spinoff didn't seem to match the audience's enthusiasm. More than a decade later, there's has been no talk of making I Am Legend 2. Instead, we only have what seems to be a definitive comment from Lawrence about why an I Am Legend sequel or prequel never got off the ground.
"Warners was really, really, REALLY into coming up with something, and I just didn’t know how to do it… I saw very quickly after the movie came out, and I went ‘People came to see The Last Man on Earth. We’ve done The Last Man on Earth. He died at the end of the movie; we can’t do it again.'"
Francis continued, explaining why a prequel wouldn't have made sense either:
"It just felt forced to do a prequel, and that was basically, we would have been doing Contagion. And to do something that’s a follow-up either doesn’t have him in it, or you have to do something really dumb, which is, you know, ‘Scientists have taken his DNA and reanimated him somehow!’ And that would have been really dumb, and so I just kind of bowed out."
It's been more than a decade since I Am Legend premiered in theaters and it looks like that was the last time Smith will ever be seen in the role. It's entirely possible the story gets the reboot treatment once more but it likely won't be with Smith or Lawrence involved.