The 'I Am Legend' Sequel/Prequel Is Dead

I Am Legend

It earned nearly $600 million worldwide and pulled in decent reviews, but Will Smith's I Am Legend has never been regarded as the kind of world-beating blockbuster that automatically guarantees a sequel -- which is part of why a proposed prequel and/or sequel have languished in development hell since Legend's 2007 release. Now, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman says the idea is completely off the table.

Out promoting his directorial debut, Winter's Tale, Goldsman told io9 that while neither idea was ever officially greenlit, there were some ideas for how the story could advance in either direction.

"We wrote a prequel [and] a sequel," explained Goldsman. "We had a really interesting prequel, which was the first outbreak of the virus, during a Thanksgiving Day parade, which was awesome. We did a really interesting prequel that [took place] later. Which was right after the first… really right when the population of of humans became pretty decimated. And it was this sort of trek to Washington. Which included a dark seeker elephant that had broken out of the zoo."

While cautioning flat-out that it "will never happen," Goldsman also revealed that his ideas for a sequel included the revelation that Legend's main character, virologist Robert Neville (played by Smith), "was cloned."

Given that I Am Legend received heaps of righteous scorn from readers of the Richard Matheson source novel for twisting the book's themes and bravely bleak ending, it's probably a good thing that nobody's working on another installment -- but if you've been hoping for one, cheer up; someone's bound to take another pass at I Am Legend in a decade or so, and maybe this time, they'll turn it into a franchise.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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