Ever wondered which movie Will Smith is most proud of having been involved with? My guess would've been the heart-racingly epic Independence Day, or the sci-fi classic Men In Black. In fact, his choice might surprise you: it's 2007's post-apocalyptic blockbuster I Am Legend.
Speaking on the Awards Chatter Podcast, the star said his adaptation of Richard Matheson's novella was the "most successful" he's ever been at fulfilling his career-long ambition of putting "small character dramas into the middle of blockbuster packages." You can't fault the near-one-man-movie for having given it a good go:
I’m obsessed with trying to put small character dramas into the middle of blockbuster packages. The most successful I’ve ever been with that concept is I Am Legend.
I Am Legend easily could’ve been a stage play, right? You know, a one-man show, a dude with a dog — you generally would think you need a little bit more than that for a blockbuster, but to date that’s my biggest opening and my second biggest film.
So that’s an obsession for me, to not act so much that people don’t want to see it. You [can] act so much that you turn people off, or you [can] put so many creatures in it that now people don’t take the acting seriously.
I Am Legend was also a huge financial success, opening to the largest ever box office for a non-Christmas film released in the U.S. in December. Grossing $585.3 million on a $150 million budget, the movie exemplifies how filmmakers can remain both creatively and financially satisfied. So, when's the next movie?
A Possible Sequel
There have been talks of a prequel being in development, presumably charting the collapse of civilization before Will Smith became the 'last man on earth'. Details are sparse but in 2012 Warner Bros. announced that deals had been made to produce "another installment" with Will Smith reprising his role. Here's hoping he can make it happen!