Sequels to I Am Legend and Constantine are in early development at Warner Bros., and while neither appear to have received release dates yet, industry veteran Akiva Goldsman, who is involved with both projects, shared new details about them in a recent discussion with Deadline. According to Goldsman, the sequel to Constantine, which he’s currently writing, will expand on the themes that the 2005 original introduced, bringing back Keanu Reeves as the titular exorcist and demonologist, while the sequel to I Am Legend will start decades after the first film, with actor Michael B. Jordan joining Will Smith in one of the feature’s lead roles. Goldsman also mentioned that he is a huge fan of The Last of Us, suggesting that the vampire sequel may feature story beats that are heavily inspired by Naughty Dog’s game and/or HBO’s adaptation.
From a Deadline report:
“We’re starting with two projects that are fun and very much Warners; the sequel to I Am Legend, with Will and Michael B. Jordan, and the sequel to Constantine with Keanu Reeves that Francis Lawrence is going to direct. So I’m coming out of the gate fast. We’re doing it with JJ Abrams, and Francis and Keanu and I have been pretty deep in the story breaking stage.”
“This is a credit to Keanu, who endlessly has said, ‘this is the character I want to return to,’” Goldsman told Deadline. “Finally, he said it enough times that it stuck.” Reeves’ revival in the John Wick films surely helped the cause. The new film expands on the themes the original brought, about maintaining the barrier between earth and the evil creatures that are on the other side.
“The character is very much Keanu and the way he and Francis saw the world of good and evil, and the wonderful and authentic noir where there is a world behind the world of good and evil coexist with our world right up close. Beyond that, we are still discovering it as I am writing the script.”
Another tentpole is the sequel to I Am Legend, the 2007 film that grossed $585 million worldwide. Studio has been trying to crack it for years, and Goldsman would not say how Jordan fits into the last-man-on-earth storyline, but said the film will lean into the Richard Matheson novel the original was based on.
“This will start a few decades later than the first,” he 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. We trace back to the original Matheson book, and the alternate ending as opposed to the released ending in the original film. 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.”