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Will Smith's Not That Interested In 'I Am Legend 2,' Explains Why He Bailed On Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist June 13, 2012 at 5:53PM

Back in 2007, "I Am Legend" grossed $585 million worldwide for Warner Bros. Costing only $150 million -- kinda modest for a major tentpole these days -- the Will Smith-starring post-apocalyptic actioner also grossed $126.2 million in DVD revenue, making it the sixth best-selling DVD of 2008. Not too shabby, right? Plus, the film plays on cable all the time and those rights must have also cost a pretty penny. So in the logical, brand-obsessed bean-counting world of Hollywood, a sequel would seem like a natural move.
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Will Smith, I Am Legend

Back in 2007, "I Am Legend" grossed $585 million worldwide for Warner Bros. Costing only $150 million -- kinda modest for a major tentpole these days -- the Will Smith-starring post-apocalyptic actioner also grossed $126.2 million in DVD revenue, making it the sixth best-selling DVD of 2008. Not too shabby, right? Plus, the film plays on cable all the time and those rights must have also cost a pretty penny. So in the logical, brand-obsessed bean-counting world of Hollywood, a sequel would seem like a natural move.

But five years is practically a decade in tentpole years, and very little movement has taken place over the years. Making matters worse (and potentially squashing a potential franchise) in a recent interview with the BBC (via Movies.com), the actor said he would "probably not" be involved in any subsquent film.

"Producers are working on it. I’m not actually. If it’s great, I’m into it,” he said about his enthusiasm for the idea, but admitting he likely wouldn't star or appear in the film: “I don’t want to be the sequel guy. 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.”  Evidently the A-lister, however, is still considering a "Men in Black 4.

Meanwhile, in the latest issue of Empire, in the feature on Quentin Tarantino's Southern/slave revenge film, "Django Unchained," the U.K. magazine got Smith to talk about his decision to ultimately not take the leading role, leaving it open for Jamie Foxx instead. "I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen," Smith told Empire about potentially leading Tarantino's latest. "I was in the middle of 'Men In Black 3' and [Tarantino] was ready to go, and I just couldn't sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn't want to hold him up. That thing's going to be ridiculous. It is a genius screenplay."

So much for those that speculated the role was too controversial for the squeaky-clean A-lister. Or is the actor being diplomatic while referencing some of the "issues" he had with the script? We'll leave that up to you in the comments. Meanwhile, does this mean "Hancock 2" and "Bad Boys 3" and "I Robot 2" are now simply producer-driven pipe dreams? Discuss.

This article is related to: Will Smith, Django Unchained, I Am Legend


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