Though Will Smith is presently headlining the third movie in the Men in Black series, a film that recently passed the $500 million worldwide box office threshold, he apparently is losing his taste for sequels, telling BBC News:
“I don’t want to be the sequel guy. I figure I’ve got about six or seven more years where I can run and jump a little bit and then I’m going butt and gut for the rest of my career. Butt and gut.”
Smith then immediately added a “Wooooooooo!!!”, because he sounds exactly like Jay Pharoah.
In keeping with his new-found sequel bias, the Bad Boys 2 star, who has previously been loosely linked to sequels for Independence Day and Hancock, also told the BBC the cold hard truth about the proposed I Am Legend sequel… eventually.
“Producers are working on it,” Smith said, adding, “I’m not actually working on it. If it’s great, I’m into it.”, before finally admitting that he probably wouldn’t reconsider and, I suppose, actually work on it.
Spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Fans and other general viewers of the 2007 Francis Lawrence helmed sci-fi/horror epic will no doubt recall that Smith’s Robert Neville character died at the end. Those who also read the Richard Matheson novel (also titled, I Am Legend) that the film was based on, will no doubt recall that the film veered wildly from the source material, not in Neville’s end, but in the way the story concludes.
Smith‘s “death” in the film prompted many to speculate that his involvement in a future Legend project would indicate a need for any future film to be a prequel, despite the numerous flashbacks that detailed both Neville’s back story and the way that the virus spread — but now I have to wonder if we could be in a for a sequel.
In the novel, Neville begins to more fully witness the humanity of the vampirish creatures and realizes that he is now the “new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever”, the new “legend” prior to his death. Producers could visit that revelation with a new protagonist pivoting off of the original film.
Lets be honest though, the alternate ending to the movie starts down this path, and it’s actually a vast improvement on the Hollywood-sacrificial-hero-porn that went out to the masses at first in the theatrical cut. So any hope that a truer, more bleak ending might be fleshed out is likely just rabid hope, spun off into a void, never to be seen again. But then again, these people are allegedly working on another I Am Legend film sans the warm light of Will Smith‘s presence, so perhaps they’re a gaggle of dreamers and fools hell bent on chasing rainbows… or something.
Sources: BBC News via Blastr, Box Office Mojo, MTV, IO9