According to Variety, the plan is for Smith to reprise his role as scientist Robert Neville, with Francis Lawrence returning to direct.
The studio has set D.B. Weiss to write a script that is based on a detailed outline that was hatched over the past few months. The prequel 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.
Making a prequel was the only way to extend a franchise that grossed $584 million worldwide for Warner Bros. 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.
No production date has been set.