Keanu Reeves as John Constantine in 2005's 'Constantine.'

Keanu Reeves as John Constantine in 2005's 'Constantine.'

Business-heavy stories about producers renewing the deals with studios don’t usually offer up too many interesting nuggets of news. But when that filmmaker is Akiva Goldsman, and he’s involved with two big franchises in ‘Constantine’ and ‘I Am Legend’––and is happy to talk about them––that’s a different situation.

So with Goldsman’s Weed Road company returning to Warner Bros. (which is almost news in itself given the company’s recent round of cost-cutting and tax write-offs), there is an update on both the comic book adaptation starring Keanu Reeves and the post-apocalyptic thriller that, seemingly against the odds given how the first movie ended, appears set to return Will Smith to screens.

Related Article: Keanu Reeves Back For a ‘Constantine’ Sequel

What’s the latest on ‘Constantine’s sequel?

2005’s ‘Constantine’ brought the character first created by Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch, and John Totleben (and developed by Garth Ennis and Jamie Delano’s ‘Hellblazer’ comics) to screens.

He’s as supernatural exorcist and demonologist, and something of a detective, though his personal life is a mess and his personal grooming leaves something to be desired.

In the movie, Reeves’ Constantine is approached by Detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) who needs his help to prove that her twin sister Isabel’s (also Weisz) death was not a suicide. As he looks into Isabel’s death, he realizes demons are trying to break through to the human world, and his battles lead him into the middle of a conflict between the Angel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) and Satan (Peter Stomare).

The sequel, which Goldsman is writing and producing (alongside J.J. Abrams), has Reeves back to star and Francis Lawrence once again directing. It was announced last year.

Says Goldman to Deadline about the project,

“This is a credit to Keanu, who endlessly has said, ‘this is the character I want to return to.’ Finally, he said it enough times that it stuck. 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.”

What’s new with the ‘I Am Legend’ sequel?

‘I Am Legend,' meanwhile, was a 2007 horror action thriller, coincidentally also directed by Lawrence. It adapted Richard Matheson’s much-praised 1954 novel, which posited a world where a devastating virus had wiped out almost all of humanity and turned the rest into vampire-like mutants who roam the world looking for victims.

Robert Neville, the focus of the story, goes on a mission to find the scientific basis for the pandemic that caused all this, and chronicles his increasingly stressed encounters with his fellow former humans.

In the movie, Smith plays Neville, who is an army virologist surviving in a ruined New York and looking to find a cure for the virus that caused all the trouble––which was originally a mutated measles strain intended to cure cancer. His wife and daughter died in a helicopter crash as they attempted to flee a quarantine of Manhattan and Neville has company in the shape of his German Shepherd dog Sam.

We learned about a potential sequel nearly a year ago, but at that point speculated that it seemed unlikely to star Smith since (spoiler alert) his character appeared to die at the end, heroically sacrificing his life after finally finding a cure so other survivors (Alice Braga’s Anna and her son, Ethan, played by Charlie Tahan) may live.

Yet that was in the cinematic cut––a later home entertainment release has an alternate where In the ending that wasn't included in the theatrical cut, the zombies leave Smith’s Neville alone once he returns the body he was testing the cure on back to them. Smith, Anna and Ethan travel to Vermont to spread the cure.

Goldsman, who is also writing that movie (Lawrence is not attached to direct, at least not yet), didn’t specify exactly how Smith’s character story would continue, nor did he offer up any details as to how fellow attached star Michael B. Jordan might fit in.

Goldsman had this to say about the movie,

“This will start a few decades later than the first. “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.”

It’s perhaps no surprise that the huge HBO Max hit video game adaptation would be a touchstone, even though the new ‘Legend’ has been in development long before it infected the pop cultural consciousness.

We’ll have to wait and see what exactly happens with the ‘Legend’ follow-up. Given how busy Goldsman is (he also juggles time spent working on ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ series for Paramount+ and a wealth of other projects in development), it could be a while before either movie is ready to go before cameras. We’d predict that the ‘Constantine’ follow-up would be first.

Smith and dog 2

Will Smith in 2007's 'I Am Legend.'

Other Movies Similar to ‘Constantine' and 'I Am Legend:’

Buy 'Constantine' Movies On Amazon

Buy 'I Am Legend' Movies On Amazon