Studio Warner Bros has hired screenwriter Arash Amel to work on a follow-up to the first film, which posited a future in which mankind has been almost completely overrun by terrifying survivors of a supremely destructive plague. I Am Legend was itself a remake of the 1971 Charlton Heston film The Omega Man, with both films based on Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend. The story was also filmed in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, with Vincent Price.
I Am Legend made an impressive $585m (£368m) across the globe but received mixed reviews upon release in 2007, with little praise for the CGI special effects used to depict the monstrous plague survivors with whom its hero must battle for survival. An alternative ending, released for the DVD version, drew positive reactions and would allow a continuation of the story from the first film, as it saw Smith's character survive. Another option would be a prequel.
Smith, whose Overbrook Entertainment production company is overseeing the I Am Legend sequel with the potential for Smith to star, has recently shown a willingness to return to acting after taking a back-seat in the past five years. He has starred only in the offbeat superhero tale Hancock and poorly received drama Seven Pounds since 2007, but will reprise his role as Agent J in Men in Black 3 later this year.
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