By Michael Fleming
Warner Bros. has set in motion a prequel to the Will Smith movie "I Am Legend."
The plan is for Smith to reprise his role as scientist Robert Neville, with Francis Lawrence returning to direct. Akiva Goldsman will produce via his Weed Road production company with James Lassiter, Smith's partner in Overbrook Entertainment.
The studio has signed D.B. Weiss to write a script that is based on a detailed outline that was hatched over the past few months by Smith, Goldsman, Lassiter and Lawrence.
The prequel movie will chronicle the final days of humanity in New York before a man-made virus caused a plague that left Smith's character the lone survivor among a mutated mob in the city.
The group decided that making a prequel was the only way to extend a franchise and keep Smith in the lead role. His character was killed in the first film, after extracting a potential cure for the virus for the scattered survivors.
"I Am Legend" grossed $584 million worldwide for Warner Bros earlier this year.
Currently, Weiss is scripting the adaptation of Neil Strauss' book "The Game" for Spyglass Entertainment. He's also working on a project for Relativity, "Kashmir."