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Not one to look a $600-million gift horse in the mouth, Warner Bros. has closed a deal with producer Akiva Goldsman to make a sequel to I Am Legend. The blockbuster 2007 thriller featured Will Smith as the last man alive in the wake of a deadly virus, and the sequel will probably continue the desperate setting to capitalize on the relevance of the real world post-apocalypse.
Goldsman (who co-wrote the original) will produce but has passed scripting duties to up-and-comer Arash Amel, who just finished writing a buzz-worthy Grace Kelly biopic, Grace of Monaco. Rather than daring to muddle the rich mythology of the “Legend” universe, the film is said to be a sequel, an idea that will likely make you do a double take if you remember how the original ended.
Don’t? Well, let’s just say it’ll be hard for star Will Smith to be much of a screen presence since the last time we saw his character, Robert Neville, he was being obliterated by the explosion of a hand-grenade. Yeah, this was the movie that shot a perfectly understated and emotional ending that actually left room for a sequel, but then decided an explosion was a more poignant coda.
So how exactly is Will Smith going to fit into the film? That depends. Deadline reports that Smith won’t sign onto the project until the script is finished, and there’s been no mention of whether original director Francis Lawrence will come back for another round. All we hope that Amel is as good as cracked up to be; at present his options for writing Smith back in include a total retcon of the first film’s ending, or bringing in Robert Neville’s long-lost twin brother, Roger, who will also have an adorable pet put in their just to make you cry.