Will Smith in 'I Am Legend', Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

Audiences Gear Up for Next Viral Dystopia as Michael B. Jordan Joins Will Smith for ‘I Am Legend’ Sequel

Another film about a global plague? Sigh.

Will Smith is returning to the zombie apocalypse, and he’s bringing Michael B. Jordan with him. Warner Bros. has announced plans to make a sequel to 2007’s smash hit I Am Legend, with Smith reprising his role as Dr. Robert Neville, a U.S. Army virologist who finds himself alone in a deserted Manhattan after a worldwide plague that wipes out humanity. Those who do survive the plague are transformed into Darkseekers, vampiric mutants who cannot survive the sunlight and prey on the scattered survivors.

Recommended Videos

Oscar winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, Picard), who penned the first film, is returning to write the sequel. I Am Legend was based on Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel of the same name, which was previously adapted into The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price, followed by The Omega Man (1971), starring Charlton Heston. No director has been announced yet, the 2007 film was directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games series).

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, I Am Legend was a huge hit at the box office, grossing $585.4M worldwide. Over the years, plans for prequels and sequels have stayed stuck in development until now. While the plot of the sequel is being kept under wraps, perhaps the biggest question is how the film is going to retcon its original ending.

In case you forgot, I Am Legend ends with Smith sacrificing himself to save fellow survivors Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahana), who then bring his cure to a military-run survivor’s camp. The film shot an alternate ending that adheres more closely to the novel, where Neville, realizing that he has become a monster in the eyes of the Darkseekers, abandons his research and joins Anna and Ethan in finding a survivor’s colony.

I’m sure Goldsman will come up with something that explains how Will Smith survived the grenade explosion. What I’m more concerned with is our collective appetite for more viral plague content. After spending the last two years living in a very real global pandemic, will audiences still want to see more of these kinds of stories?

While audiences are still consuming zombie apocalypse series like The Walking Dead franchise, other shows like FX’s Y: The Last Man were hobbled by pandemic fatigue (among other issues). And still other shows, like HBO’s Station Eleven, were met with rave reviews and a strong fan base.

Film is, of course, a different beast. But the combined star power of Smith and Jordan is more than enough reason to get audiences out to the theater, despite the 15 year lag between the original and the sequel.

What do you think of an I Am Legend sequel? Are you excited to see Jordan and Smith team up? Let us know in the comments!

(images: Warner Bros./Amazon Studios)

 —The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.