Nothing happened the way it was supposed to happen, especially when it came to the “I Am Legend” sequel.
A decade after Will Smith shut down rumors of a second installment, the Oscar nominee officially signed on to “I Am Legend 2” — thanks to co-star Michael B. Jordan’s story concept.
“It was one of those ones I was gonna leave alone, and then I heard the idea,” Smith told Entertainment Tonight. “That might work. I think we can do that.”
Smith teased that while the plot is still under wraps, “it’s a really, really cool concept,” and Jordan was “part of creating the idea.”
Both Smith and Jordan are set to produce. Akiva Goldsman, who co-wrote the original film, is returning to write the sequel, per Deadline. A director is not yet publicly attached to the project.
Smith spoke on the red carpet at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which annual fetes the year’s top Oscar contenders. He was there receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year tribute award.
“I Am Legend” is based on Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel of the same name. The 2007 film was directed by Francis Lawrence, and also starred Smith’s daughter Willow Smith. The film gained new traction in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the story follows a scientist (Smith) who is a lone survivor living in New York City after humans are turned into zombies by an airborne disease.
Jordan and Smith both teased a glimpse at the inspiration for “I Am Legend 2” on Instagram, sharing a production still of an infected city.
The original “I Am Legend” opened to $77.2 million and went on to gross $256.4 million domestic and $585.4 million worldwide.
Jordan and Elizabeth Raposo are producing via their Outlier Society banner. Smith and Westbrook Studios Co-President/Head of Motion Pictures Jon Mone will produce the project, with Ryan Shimazaki overseeing on behalf of Westbrook Studios. James Lassiter will serve as EP. Goldsman and Greg Lessans will also produce via Weed Road Pictures.
Smith is currently nominated at the 94th Academy Awards for Best Actor for “King Richard.” Smith was previously Oscar nominated for Best Actor in “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.”