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I Am Legend was a game-changer for Will Smith, proving that he had the star power to carry a blockbuster movie on his own. It also established him as the king of mercy killing dogs on screen. Smith's talent for acting alongside CGI monsters was evident since his iconic performance in the 2002 music video for "Black Suits Comin (Nod Your Head)." Fans agreed that not casting Smith in future zombie movies would be a huge missed opportunity.
So, did Smith's career in the zombie genre take off? The answer is a bit complicated, spanning several decades. In short, it's a "no," but there's more to the story.
Exploring Will Smith's Zombie Movie Roles
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures
To be technical, Will Smith hasn't actually starred in any zombie movies. The novel I Am Legend, which inspired the film (along with two previous adaptations), doesn't feature zombies. The pandemic that left Robert Neville alone and socially awkward was caused by vampires, not zombies. The 2007 remake, though it deviates from the book, still pays homage to its vampire roots by making the infected vulnerable to sunlight.
But if we're being flexible with the definition of a "zombie movie," there are a few Smith films worth considering.
In Suicide Squad, Smith's character Deadshot fights against mindless, deformed soldiers under the control of an ancient sorceress. While not strictly zombies, they share some similarities.
In 2004, Smith voiced a character in the animated film Shark Tale, where the characters have dead, glassy cartoon eyes that give them a somewhat undead vibe. Similarly, in 2013's Anchorman 2, Smith's cameo is seen as an attempt to resurrect a dying franchise, metaphorically speaking.
And let's not forget Smith's role in the live-action Aladdin remake. While not a zombie movie per se, it's part of the trend of soulless live-action Disney reimaginings.
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So, while Smith's filmography doesn't include traditional zombie movies, there are instances where his characters face off against creatures that share some similarities with zombies. It's safe to say that he has explored different corners of the undead world in his career.
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