What is I Am Legend alternate ending? Will film sequel follow book’s other ending, release date, plot details

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The long-awaited sequel will star Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan

A sequel to the 2007 I Am Legend film is on the way starring Will Smith and Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan.

Will Smith excited fans last year on Instagram as he appeared to confirm the follow-up film, tagging Michael B. Jordan in the post.

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While details on the plot have been very sparse, the sequel is now confirmed to be picking up after the first film’s alternate ending based on the novel.

The first film was loosely based on the 1954 Richard Matherson book of the same name telling the story of a lone survivor Robert Neville, played by Will Smith, who navigates a post-apocalyptic world overrun with zombie-like creatures.

The film was praised by fans and critics but many agreed its alternate ending was better than the original.

At the end of I Am Legend, Will Smith’s character is able to successfully make a cure for the virus but in doing so he pays the ultimate price and dies.

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But in the book’s ending, Will Smith’s Robert Neville didn’t die. Instead, he discovered that the infected began to have feelings when the alpha male ‘Darkseeker’ was simply trying to recover his mate.

The Darkseeker went berserk due to Robert Neville’s act of taking his mate. Given the leader decided not to kill Will Smith’s character, a temporary truce was made. In the end, Neville realises he has become a monster in the eyes of the infected which leads to him abandoning his research in the hope of finding the survivors’ colony.

I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence agreed with fans and critics saying the alternate ending is the “more philosophical version of the end."

I Am Legend producer Akiva Goldsman revealed to Deadline that the sequel will "trace back to the original (Richard) Matheson book" while also exploring the ramifications of its alternate ending. He added that the second film will “start a few decades later” after the first film.

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What is known about the I Am Legend sequel so far?

Goldsman told Deadline how the sequel will be different, referencing The Last of Us, an American post-apocalyptic drama television series.

The writer and producer revealed that the sequel will once again take place in New York and deal with the aftermath of the virus and the city moves on from this disaster.

He said: “This will start a few decades later than the first. 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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He added: "We trace back to the original Matheson book, and the alternate ending as opposed to the released ending in the original film. 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.”

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Who will be involved in the sequel?

Will Smith is back for the sequel and he will be joined by actor Michael B. Jordan - so far they are the only two confirmed actors.

According to Variety, the film is in the works for Warner Bros with a script written by Goldsman - who adapted the original film.

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Smith and Jon Mone, co-president and head of motion pictures at Westbrook Studios, will produce with Ryan Shimazaki overseeing, while Michael B. Jordan and Elizabeth Raposo will produce under their Outlier Society banner.

James Lassiter will serve as an executive producer, while Goldsman and Greg Lessans will also produce via Weed Road Pictures.

I Am Legend 2 is yet to be given a confirmed release date.

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