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Back in February it was reported that Warner Bros. and Overbrook Entertainment (the production company owned by Will Smith) had begun working with producer Akiva Goldsman to craft a sequel to the 2007 winter blockbuster I Am Legend. What was interesting about the report, however, was that it said Smith would likely return to the film as Robert Neville, despite the fact that the character met an unfortunate end at the finish of the first movie. This was explained away by saying that I Am Legend 2 wouldn't be a direct sequel, but instead would just tell a different story in the same universe, but now it's looking like Smith may not be involved at all.
In an interview last month with the BBC (via Movies.com), Smith revealed that he actually doesn't have a hand in the development of I Am Legend 2 and isn't contractually obligated to return for the sequel. Said Smith, "Producers are working on it. I'm not actually working on it. If it's great, I'm into it." When asked directly if he would be in the film the actor responded "Probably not."
According to Smith, the issue comes down to doing sequels for the right reason. Last month, of course, saw the release of Men in Black III, which saw modest success but was also seen by many as a simple cash grab. And that's not the only potential sequel for Smith in the works. Over the years there have been whispers of sequels to movies like Hancock, Independence Day, and I, Robot, not to mention a potential third Bad Boys. While he hasn't ruled out the projects entirely he has no desire to become "the sequel guy." Said Smith, "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."
There haven't been any quotes from Smith on the subject since the interview or really any news about I Am Legend 2 or the other projects, so hopefully this is a career concept that he sticks with. Men in Black 3 wasn't the disaster it could have been, but it wasn't a great movie and we all know that the star is capable of much more.