I Am Legend is back! Will Smith will partner up with Michael B. Jordan for a sequel to his 2007 blockbuster. Smith collaborator and bestie Jeffrey Allen Townes, better known as, DJ Jazzy Jeff, is a bit perplexed. Here’s why.
Back To The Apocalypse
Back when Smith was the undisputed king of the box office, he saved I Am Legend from development hell. The zombie flick had been lingering at Warner Brothers for over a decade with numerous folks attached at some point. Everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tom Cruise was set to star at one point or another, while Michael Bay and Guillermo Del Toro were both tapped to direct at times.
Instead, Francis Lawrence was pegged hot off the success of Constantine, and he and Smith made a hit. I Am Legend set a record at the time for the highest-grossing opening weekend in December, an honor it stole from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I Am Legend was the sixth highest-grossing film of the year and remains one of Smith’s biggest hits.
The film received a second life under the worst possible circumstances. Anti-vaxxers latched onto the film as justification for their stance amid COVID-19. Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman was personally offended.
A prequel was in development as far back as 2008, but it never quite got off the ground. In 2014, Warner Bros intended to make I Am Legend 2 as a quasi-zombified version of The Searchers. All the while, the studio hoped Smith would return.
Smith is Returning
After over a decade of development, Smith is set to star in I Am Legend 2. He’s going to reprise his role from the original alongside newcomer Jordan. Both are set to produce as well, with Goldsman returning to pen the script.
It’s unknown what the plot of the movie will be, but Townes has spoken for the world. In response to Smith’s Instagram announcement, he commented “Wait…WHAT?????” We have a pretty good guess as to why.
Townes is probably curious as to how Smith could possibly come back to the role. The flick ends with Smith sacrificing himself by setting off an explosion so others can escape. There’s just no way he could have survived this blast.
Goldsman is going to have his work cut out for him to explain how Smith could survive a grenade literally exploding in his hand. There was an alternate ending where Smith survives, but it’s a little odd to base a sequel on a DVD extra. In any case, we’ll all find out what happened when the sequel hits theaters.