I Am Legend 2 will be taking a bit of a departure from how the original movie ended.
Filmmaker Akiva Goldsman revealed that detail during a conversation with Deadline, saying that the sequel will take on the “alternate ending” rather than the “released ending,” which means Will Smith’s character will be brought back to life. The sequel will also take place years after the original.
“This will start a few decades later than the first,” Goldsman said. “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 described the sequel as sticking closer to Richard Matheson’s 1954 novella. “We trace back to the original Matheson book, and the alternate ending as opposed to the released ending in the original film,” he added. “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.”
The released version of the film saw Smith’s character die in order to protect two survivors, as well as a promising cure for the virus that plagued the world and turned people into Darkseekers. However, the DVD release showcased the alternate ending, where Smith doesn’t die, came to respect the Darkseekers, and escaped to freedom.
News of the sequel being in development arrived last March, which highlighted Smith and Michael B. Jordan’s involvement as producers, as well as Goldsman as the screenwriter.
The 2007 film became the seventh-highest-earning film of that year, bringing in $585 million in the global box office and, at that point, ranked as the biggest-ever box office opening for a non-Christmas film released in December.
Goldsman also confirmed a Constantine sequel with Keanu Reeves back in the lead role.