I Am Legend 2 is inspired by The Last of Us and brings back Will Smith

I Am Legend
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

We learned about a year ago that I Am Legend 2 is in the works, but now we're hearing big details about its story. 

As Deadline reports, the original movie's star, Will Smith, will return as a leading man in the sequel alongside Michael B. Jordan, whose role is unclear. Now, wait. Didn't Smith's character die in the first movie? Unequivocally yes - Robert Neville died when he exploded himself with a grenade because he was being surrounded by a horde of vicious Hemocytes. Well, according to Deadline, I Am Legend 2 is making the first movie's alternate ending, in which Robert doesn't die, canon and using it as a launching point to tell its story.

In I Am Legend's alternate ending, Robert learns that the monsters attacking his home are only doing so because he's holding one of their significant others captive. This not only allows him to survive by simply giving his test subject back to the Darkseekers, but it also teaches him that the creatures are intelligent, prompting him to abandon his research and head off to Vermont with the cure.

Returning I Am Legend screenwriter Akiva Goldsman suggested that using the alternate ending as a starting point for the sequel will allow it to be a more faithful adaptation of the original novel by Richard Matheson. Furthermore, The Last of Us, which has been adapted for TV by HBO and is midway through its highly successful first season, serves as a major inspiration for I Am Legend 2.

"This will start a few decades later than the first," said Goldsman. "I'm obsessed with The Last of Us, where we see the world just post-apocalypse but also after a 20-30-year lapse. You see how the earth reclaims the world, and there's something beautiful in the question of, as man steps away from being the primary tenant, what happens? 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."

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.