It looks like Will Smith will be reprising his role as scientist Robert Neville in the post-apocalyptic actioner I Am Legend, according to Deadline. The follow-up to the 2007 blockbuster has been talked about for several years, but deals have just recently been finalized with Akiva Goldsman — who was a producer on the first film — and Smith's Overbrook Entertainment.
Despite his studio being attached, Deadline is saying that Smith won't commit until the script is ready. No word yet if director Francis Lawrence will be returning, either, but Arash Amel is working on the screenplay. His work on the Grace of Monaco script — about the 1962 period in which Princess Grace Kelly actively saved her nation's government from being overthrown by the French — has made him an in-demand screenwriter. So far, we know that the new installment in the viral pandemic tale is not being called a prequel, which means we're wondering how they'll handle connecting it with the first film's ending. They may, however, base things off of the alternate ending, which has a drive-off-into-the-sunset type of conclusion. However, Will Smith had previously described the new movie as a prequel back in 2008:
"We have a fantastic prequel idea ... we’re still trying to work through a couple of bumps in the story. It’s essentially the fall of the last city – the last stand of Manhattan. The movie would be…within the body of the movie D.C. and then Manhattan would fall as the last city. It’s a really cool idea trying to figure it out…there’s a reason why we have to take a small band and we have to get into D.C. So we have to make our way from New York to D.C. and then back to New York."
Is a prequel/sequel totally unnecessary, or is Neville's story compelling enough for round two?