Will Smith in I Am Legend

My mom LOVES Will Smith. She’s not the type of person who goes out and buys DVDs and visits the cineplex weekly (monthly, bi-yearly). When a Will Smith movie comes out, however, the tides they do a-change. Last year I took her to see I Am Legend, this year we had planned to see Hancock, and whenever I come over for dinner it seems like she’s watching MIB 2 or Enemy of the State for the 57th time. She calls me every time Hitch is on TBS. I blame basic cable . . . but I digress.

Variety reports Warner Bros. wants to make an I Am Legend prequel. Since a sequel would be (spoiler alert) Smith-less, for obvious reasons, WB would need to cash in by returning Smith’s scientist Robert Neville most likely to the time the virus in Legend gets created all the way to the time it eradicates everyone but the man and his dog.

My one question: What would they call it? I Am Legend, Too? Since we don’t know the meaning of the title until the very last scene of the first film, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call this film I Am Zombie Vampire? I guess we’d have to ask D.B. Weiss (no to be confused with D.B. Sweeney, of The Cutting Edge fame) who has written a very “detailed outline” for the film prequel. I suppose this brings up another question, as well: Do we need this prequel? We know how it’s going to end, sure, but we already saw the events that deeply affected Neville in the first film, so this one would have much less dramatic impact for the character. More interesting would be the story of the woman and boy who survived and made their way to Neville in I Am Legend, but their story is Smith-less, too.

And with The Day the Earth Stood Still coming out and some other end-of-the-world films already behind us, haven’t we seen enough? The truth is that a sequel COULD be much more compelling than a prequel. We could see how the zombie-vampires rehabilitate with Neville’s formula and maybe things even become worse–maybe Neville’s formula turns them into just regular zombies who can attack you in daylight. Because, really, all we saw was a woman’s skin-color come back at the end of I Am Legend, we have no proof that Neville’s serum will actually cure anything.

Alas, even though a sequel could be compelling, I still contend that just because I Am Legend made $584 million worldwide, a second story is just not necessary. But, for those of you who love Smith with the same ferocious intensity as my mother, just be glad that they’re making another I Am Legend. The development of Wild, Wild, WILD West is still mum for the moment though.

What do you think of an I Am Legend prequel?

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