I Am Legend 2 Won't Follow the Original Film's Ending

Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan will star in the post-apocalyptic sequel, but Smith's character died in the original—so what's up?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
will smith and a dog in new york.
Will Smith will return for I Am Legend 2.
Image: Warner Bros.

Believe it or not, the long-rumored I Am Legend sequel is indeed on the way but it’ll be oddly at odds with the 2007 original. Producer and co-writer Akiva Goldsman just signed a new deal with Warner Bros. and it’s one of two projects he’s already working on (the other being Constantine 2 with Keanu Reeves). Michael B. Jordan will join the cast along with original star Will Smith. However, in the first film, Smith’s character dies. So what’s the deal?

Well, speaking to Deadline, Goldsman said that I Am Legend 2 will follow the film’s alternate ending, which was released on DVD and not the theatrical one.

“We trace back to the original [Richard] Matheson book, and the alternate ending as opposed to the released ending in the original film,” Goldsman said. “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.”


The original 2007 film was released with an ending that saw Smith’s character Neville sacrifice himself so that a woman and her son could escape New York with the cure to the global pandemic that basically killed everyone. Those people took the cure to a survivor encampment and all was well with the world, minus Neville being dead. The alternate ending saw Neville reach a tense truce with the infected and leave New York with the other characters. You can watch both here.

I Am Legend (2007) Ending vs Alternate Ending

“This will start a few decades later than the first,” Goldsman said. “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.”


Goldsman wouldn’t say how Michael B. Jordan’s character fits in, but if it’s a few years later, maybe he’s the child? Or Neville’s child? We’ll see. But it does sound like they don’t stay in Vermont and are forced to go back to a New York City that has long been overrun by the infected. There’s no word on who might be directing the sequel, or a general timeline, but it certainly sounds like it’s coming. Are you excited to see an I Am Legend sequel?

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.