I Am Legend (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

I Am Legend
A man wearing leather clothes and holding a rifle walks alongside a dog on an empty street. A destroyed bridge is seen in the background. Atop the image is "Will Smith" and the tagline "The last man on Earth is not alone". Below is the film's title and credits.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrancis Lawrence
Produced byAkiva Goldsman
James Lassiter
David Heyman
Neal H. Moritz
Screenplay byMark Protosevich
Akiva Goldsman
Based onI Am Legend 
by Richard Matheson
StarringWill Smith
Alice Braga
Dash Mihok
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyAndrew Lesnie
Editing byWayne Wahrman
StudioVillage Roadshow Pictures
Weed Road Pictures
Overbrook Entertainment
Heyday Films
Original Film
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • December 14, 2007 (2007-12-14)
Running time100 minutes
104 minutes (Alternate ending)
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$150 million
Box office$585,349,010[1]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
I Am Legend
A man wearing leather clothes and holding a rifle walks alongside a dog on an empty street. A destroyed bridge is seen in the background. Atop the image is "Will Smith" and the tagline "The last man on Earth is not alone". Below is the film's title and credits.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrancis Lawrence
Produced byAkiva Goldsman
James Lassiter
David Heyman
Neal H. Moritz
Screenplay byMark Protosevich
Akiva Goldsman
Based onI Am Legend 
by Richard Matheson
StarringWill Smith
Alice Braga
Dash Mihok
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyAndrew Lesnie
Editing byWayne Wahrman
StudioVillage Roadshow Pictures
Weed Road Pictures
Overbrook Entertainment
Heyday Films
Original Film
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • December 14, 2007 (2007-12-14)
Running time100 minutes
104 minutes (Alternate ending)
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$150 million
Box office$585,349,010[1]

I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name, following 1964's The Last Man on Earth and 1971's The Omega Man.[2] Smith plays virologist Robert Neville, who is immune to a man-made virus originally created to cure cancer. He works to create a remedy while defending himself against mutants created by the virus.

Warner Bros. began developing I Am Legend in 1994, and various actors and directors were attached to the project, though production was delayed due to budgetary concerns related to the script. Production began in 2006 in New York City, filming mainly on location in the city, including a $5 million scene[3] at the Brooklyn Bridge.

I Am Legend was released on December 14, 2007 in the United States and Canada, and opened to the largest ever box office (not counting for inflation) for a non-Christmas film released in the U.S. in December. The film was the seventh-highest grossing film of 2007, earning $256 million domestically and $329 million internationally, for a total of $585 million.

Plot[edit]

In September 2012, military virologist Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the last human in New York City, and maybe the last human on Earth. A genetically-engineered variant of the measles virus created by Dr. Alice Krippin (Emma Thompson), meant as a cure for cancer, had mutated into a lethal strain. It spread throughout the world, killing 90% of humanity. The remaining 588 million survivors became predatory and vampiric[4] beings[5] called "Darkseekers", that emerge after dusk to prey on those immune to the virus. In December 2009, Robert had lost his wife Zoe (Salli Richardson) and daughter Marley (Willow Smith) in a helicopter accident during a chaotic quarantine of Manhattan. He is forced to watch helpless from the ground and survives along with the family dog, a German shepherd named Samantha ("Sam").

Robert's daily routine includes experimenting on infected rats to find a cure for the virus and trips through a decaying Manhattan to collect food and medical supplies or hunt for deer that have wandered into the city from other regions. Lions and possibly other animals have escaped from the Central Park Zoo and are thriving as wild animals seem unaffected by the virus and if bitten or scratched by infected people, can only recover or die normally. He keeps vigil each day for a response to his recorded AM radio broadcasts, which instruct any survivors to meet him at midday at the South Street Seaport, where he carefully sits on a bench and waits every day. Neville's isolation is broken only by the companionship of Sam and interaction with mannequins he has set up as patrons of a video store.

He lives in a Washington Square Park townhouse,[6] which he has shielded with UV projectors and iron shutters inside the windows. He has also set up several generators in the house to provide electricity.

One day, he is hunting deer with Sam, who chases a deer to an abandoned dark building. He finds the deer dead and discovers the dog hiding and realizes the building is full of infected Darkseekers. He then flees with Sam. To test a treatment, Robert sets a snare trap that uses the scent of blood to capture an infected woman. As he is inspecting the captured woman, a male Darkseeker briefly emerges from the building, screaming in agony as he exposes himself to sunlight; Neville assumes this is due to increased hunger and notes that the loss of all human characteristics in the Darkseekers is complete. In his laboratory in the basement, Neville tries the new serum on the infected woman, seemingly without success.

The next day, after finding one of his mannequins moved out in the street in front of Grand Central Terminal. At this point Robert is going delusional as he believes that the mannequin moved to this location himself. However, this was set up by the Darkseekers and Robert is unfortunately caught in a snare trap and passes out. He regains consciousness at dusk and frees himself, but a pack of infected dogs attack Robert and Sam. During the fight, one of the infected dogs bites Sam. Domestic animals or animals adapted for a human setting seem to be infected and suffer just like humans as dogs and urban rats can be infected. Robert brings Sam home and attempts to save the dog by injecting a strain of his serum, but it is too late. Sam starts to mutate, forcing Robert to strangle her to death.

Overwhelmed by grief and rage, Robert attacks a group of Darkseekers in the Seaport the following night with his Ford Expedition equipped with UV lights. He kills many, but they overwhelm and nearly kill him before he is rescued by a pair of immune humans, a woman named Anna (Alice Braga) and a boy named Ethan (Charlie Tahan), who followed his radio broadcasts from Maryland. Anna and Ethan take Robert back to his home. Anna explains that they are making their way to a survivors' camp in Bethel, Vermont. Robert does not believe such a camp exists and expresses doubt when Anna says God told her about it.

The following night, an alpha male leads an infected mob in an attack on Robert's house. Anna, who was unaware of Robert's precautions in covering his scent outside the house, had inadvertently allowed the Darkseekers to follow their trail. As the Darkseekers charge the house, Robert stops the first wave with UV light projectors, which others destroy. Robert also destroys the second wave with mines planted in the yard, but he finds himself defenseless against the third wave. As Robert tries to find Anna and Ethan, the alpha male and another Darkseeker enter the house, and the alpha male attacks him. As Robert fends off the alpha male, the other Darkseeker rushes upstairs and begins tearing a hole in the roof so others can get in.

After Robert saves Anna and Ethan, they retreat into the laboratory. They seal themselves in a glass-walled room with the infected woman and discover that Neville's treatment is working; the subject looks much more human. The Darkseekers break in and the alpha male begins to throw himself against the glass, cracking it into the shape of a butterfly. Robert then sees Anna's butterfly tattoo and thinks of his daughter Marley, who used to make a butterfly shape with her hands (a brief voiceover of Marley mentioning butterflies plays). Robert then draws a vial of the infected woman's blood and gives it to Anna, before shutting her and Ethan inside a coal chute in the back of the lab. He then detonates an M67 grenade to destroy the attackers at the cost of his own life. Anna and Ethan wake up the next morning to find all of the attackers gone and head towards the survivor colony

Anna and Ethan arrive at the survivors' colony, where Anna hands over the antidote. Anna later states that the survivors are Robert's legacy, as his fight for a cure became legend.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Washington Square on October 31, 2006: the area is being set up for an evening shooting. In the background is the house Will Smith's character lives in.

The late 1990s brought a reemergence of the science fiction horror genre.[7] In 1995, Warner Bros. began developing the film project, having owned the rights to Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend since 1970[8] and The Omega Man. Mark Protosevich was hired to write the script after the studio was impressed with his spec script of The Cell. Protosevich's first draft took place in the year 2000 in San Francisco, California, and contained many similarities with the finished film, though the Darkseekers (called 'Hemocytes') were civilized to the point of the creatures in The Omega Man and Anna was a lone morphine addict; as well as the fact that there was a Hemocyte character named Christopher who joined forces with Neville. Warner Bros. immediately put the film on the fast track, attaching Neal H. Moritz as producer.[7]

Actors Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas,[9] and Mel Gibson[7] had been considered to star in the film,[9] using a script by Protosevich and with Ridley Scott as director; however, by June 1997 the studio's preference was for actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In July, Scott and Schwarzenegger finalized negotiations,[10] with production slated to begin the coming September,[9] using Houston as a stand-in for the film's setting of Los Angeles.[11] Scott had Protosevich replaced by a screenwriter of his own choosing, John Logan, with whom he spent months of intensive work on a number of different drafts. The Scott/Logan version of I Am Legend was a mix of scifi action and psychological thriller, without dialogue in the first hour and with a sombre ending.[7] The creatures in Logan's Legend were similar to the Darkseekers of the finished film in their animalistic, barbaric nature. The studio, fearing its lack of commercial appeal and merchandising potential, began to worry about the liberties they had given Scott – then on a negative streak of box office disappointments – and urged the production team to reconsider the lack of action in the screenplay. After an "esoteric" draft by writer Neal Jimenez, Warner Bros. reassigned Protosevich to the project, reluctantly working with Scott again.[7]

In December 1997, the project was called into question when the projected budget escalated to $108 million due to media and shareholder scrutiny of the studio in financing a big-budget film.[12] Scott rewrote the script in an attempt to reduce the film's budget by $20 million,[13] but in March 1998, the studio canceled the project due to continued budgetary concerns,[14] and quite possibly to the box office disappointment of Scott's last three films, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, White Squall, and G.I. Jane.[7] Likewise, Schwarzenegger's recent films at the time (Eraser and Warner Bros. own Batman & Robin) underperformed, and the studio's latest experiences with big budget sci-fi movies Sphere and The Postman were negative as well.[7] In August 1998, director Rob Bowman was attached to the project,[15] with Protosevich hired to write a third all-new draft, far more action-oriented than his previous versions,[7] but the director (who reportedly wished for Nicolas Cage to play the lead) moved on to direct Reign of Fire[16] and the project did not get off the ground.

In March 2002, Schwarzenegger became the producer of I Am Legend, commencing negotiations with Michael Bay to direct and Will Smith to star in the film.[17] Bay and Smith were attracted to the project based on a redraft that would reduce its budget.[18] However, the project was shelved due to Warner Bros. president, Alan F. Horn's dislike of the script.[19] In 2004, Akiva Goldsman was asked by head of production Jeff Robinov to produce the film.[20] In September 2005, director Francis Lawrence signed on to helm the project, with production slated to begin in 2006. Guillermo del Toro was originally approached to direct by Smith but turned it down in order to direct Hellboy II: The Golden Army.[21] Lawrence, whose film Constantine was produced by Goldsman, was fascinated by empty urban environments. He said, "Something's always really excited me about that... to have experienced that much loss, to be without people or any kind of social interaction for that long."[20]

Goldsman took on the project as he admired the second I Am Legend film adaptation, The Omega Man.[22] A rewrite was done to distance the project from the other zombie films inspired by the novel,[17] as well as from the recently released 28 Days Later, although Goldsman was inspired by the scenes of a deserted London in the British horror film to create the scenes of a deserted New York City.[22] A 40-page scene-by-scene outline of the film was developed by May 2006. When delays occurred on Smith's film Hancock, which was scheduled for 2007, it was proposed to switch the actor's films. This meant filming would have to begin in sixteen weeks: production was green lit, using Goldsman's script and the outline.[20] Elements from Protosevich's script were introduced, while the crew consulted with experts on infectious diseases and solitary confinement.[22] Rewrites continued throughout filming, because of Smith's improvisational skills and Lawrence's preference to keep various scenes silent.[20] The director had watched Jane Campion’s film The Piano with a low volume so as to not disturb his newborn son, and realized that silence could be very effective cinema.[23]

Casting[edit]

Will Smith signed on to play Robert Neville in April 2006.[24] He said he took on I Am Legend because he felt it could be like "Gladiator [or] Forrest Gump—these are movies with wonderful, audience-pleasing elements but also uncompromised artistic value. [This] always felt like it had those possibilities to me."[22] The actor found Neville to be his toughest acting challenge since portraying Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001). He said that "when you're on your own, it is kind of hard to find conflict." The film's dark tone and exploration of whether Neville has gone insane during his isolation meant Smith had to restrain himself from falling into a humorous routine during takes.[25] To prepare for his role, Smith visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Georgia. He also met with a person who had been in solitary confinement and a former prisoner of war.[26] Smith compared Neville to Job, who lost his children, livelihood, and health. Like the Book of Job, I Am Legend studies the questions, "Can he find a reason to continue? Can he find the hope or desire to excel and advance in life? Or does the death of everything around him create imminent death for himself?"[17] He also cited an influence in Tom Hanks' performance in Cast Away (2000).[22]

Abbey and Kona, both three-year-old German Shepherd Dogs, played Neville's dog Sam.[27] The rest of the supporting cast consists of Salli Richardson as Zoe, Robert's wife,[28] and Alice Braga as a survivor named Anna.[28] Willow Smith, Will Smith's daughter, makes her film debut as Marley, Neville's daughter.[29] Emma Thompson has an uncredited role as Dr. Alice Krippin, who appears on television explaining her vaccine for cancer that mutates into the virus.[30] Singer Mike Patton provided the guttural screams of the infected "hemocytes," and Dash Mihok provided the character animation for the infected "alpha male". There were several filler characters with uncredited roles in old news broadcasts and flashbacks, such as the unnamed President's voice (Pat Fraley), and the cast of The Today Show.

Filming[edit]

A below view of a large suspension bridge over a river connecting to an area covered with tall buildings. Another bridge and other buildings can be seen in the background.
The Brooklyn Bridge, where a $5 million scene was filmed
Marcy Avenue Armory

Akiva Goldsman decided to move the story from Los Angeles to New York City to take advantage of locations that would more easily show emptiness.[8] Goldsman explained, "L.A. looks empty at three o'clock in the afternoon, [but] New York is never empty . . . it was a much more interesting way of showing the windswept emptiness of the world."[25] Warner Bros. initially rejected this idea because of the logistics,[20] but Francis Lawrence was determined to shoot on location, to give the film a natural feel that would benefit from not shooting on soundstages. Lawrence went to the city with a camcorder, and filmed areas filled with crowds. Then, a special effects test was conducted to remove all those people. The test had a powerful effect on studio executives.[23] Michael Tadross convinced authorities to close busy areas such as the Grand Central Terminal viaduct, several blocks of Fifth Avenue and Washington Square Park.[20] The film was shot primarily in the anamorphic format, with flashback scenes shot in Super 35.[31]

Filming began on September 23, 2006.[32] The Marcy Avenue Armory in Williamsburg was used for the interior of Neville's home,[25] while Greenwich Village was used for the exterior.[17] Other locations include the Tribeca section of Lower Manhattan, the aircraft carrier Intrepid, the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx and St. Patrick's Cathedral.[8] Weeds were imported from Florida and were strewn across locations to make the city look like it had overgrown with them.[20] The closure of major streets was controversial with New Yorkers. Will Smith said, "I don't think anyone's going to be able to do that in New York again anytime soon. People were not happy. That's the most middle fingers I've ever gotten in my career."[17]

A bridge scene was filmed for six consecutive nights in January on the Brooklyn Bridge to serve as a flashback scene in which New York's citizens evacuate the city. Shooting the scene consumed $5 million of the film's reported $150 million budget, which was likely the most expensive shot in the city to date. The scene, which had to meet requirements from 14 government agencies, involved 250 crew members and 1,000 extras, including 160 National Guard members.[33][34] Also present were several Humvees, three Strykers, a 110-foot (34 m) cutter, a 41-foot (12 m) utility boat, and two 25-foot (7.6 m) Response Boat Small craft, as well as other vehicles including taxis, police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances.[35] Filming concluded on March 31, 2007.[32] CGI was used to depict the main spans of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge collapsing as missiles from over passing military jets blew them up to quarantine Manhattan island.

Reshoots were conducted around November 2007. Lawrence noted, "We weren't seeing fully rendered shots until about a month ago. The movie starts to take on a whole other life. It's not until later that you can judge a movie as a whole and go, 'Huh, maybe we should shoot this little piece in the middle, or tweak this a little bit.' It just so happened that our re-shoots revolved around the end of the movie."[36]

Effects[edit]

A week into filming, Francis felt the infected (referred to as "Dark Seekers" or "hemocytes" in the script), who were being portrayed by actors wearing prosthetics, were not convincing. His decision to use computer-generated imagery (CGI) resulted in an increased budget and extended post-production, although the end results were not always well received.[37][38] The concept behind the infected was that their adrenal glands were open all of the time and Lawrence explained, "They needed to have an abandon in their performance that you just can’t get out of people in the middle of the night when they’re barefoot. And their metabolisms are really spiked, so they’re constantly hyperventilating, which you can’t really get actors to do for a long time or they pass out."[20] The actors remained on set to provide motion capture.[25][39] "The film's producers and sound people wanted the creatures in the movie to sound somewhat human, but not the standard," so Mike Patton, lead singer of Faith No More, was engaged to provide the screams and howls of the infected.[40]

In addition, CGI was used for the lions and deer in the film, and to erase pedestrians in shots of New York. Workers visible in windows, spectators and moving cars in the distance were all removed. In his vision of an empty New York, Lawrence cited John Ford as his influence: "We didn't want to make an apocalyptic movie where the landscape felt apocalyptic. A lot of the movie takes place on a beautiful day. There's something magical about the empty city as opposed to dark and scary that was the ideal that the cast and crew wanted."[22]

Alternate ending[edit]

Several scenes were changed before the film's release, especially the stand-off between Neville and the infected in his laboratory. In the ending, the alpha male makes a butterfly-shaped smear on the glass. Neville realizes that the alpha male is identifying the woman he was experimenting on by a butterfly tattoo, and the alpha male wants her back. Neville puts his gun down and returns the infected woman. Neville and the alpha male both stare each other down; Neville apologizes to the Darkseekers; the alpha male accepts his apology, and the infected leave. Shocked by the ordeal, Neville sits down for a moment in his laboratory. Looking over the pictures of his numerous test subjects, the implications of his research methods begin to dawn on him. The final shot follows Neville, Anna, and Ethan as they drive away towards the survivor's camp in Vermont with the antidote.[41]

According to visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs: "At that point, Neville's — and the audience's — assumptions about the nature of these creatures are shown to be incorrect. We see that they have actually retained some of their humanity. There is a very important moment between the alpha male and Neville."

Release[edit]

I Am Legend was originally slated for a November 21, 2007 release in the United States and Canada,[42] but was delayed to December 14, 2007.[43] The film opened on December 26, 2007 in the United Kingdom,[44] and Ireland having been originally scheduled for January 4, 2008.[25]

In December 2007, China banned the release of American films in the country,[45] which is believed to have delayed the release of I Am Legend. Will Smith spoke to the chairman of China Film Group about securing a release date, later explaining, "We struggled very, very hard to try to get it to work out, but there are only a certain amount of foreign films that are allowed in."[26]

Marketing[edit]

A tie-in comic from DC Comics and Vertigo Comics has been created, I Am Legend: Awakening.[46] The project draws upon collaboration from Bill Sienkiewicz, screenwriter Mark Protosevich, and author Orson Scott Card. The son of the original book's author, Richard Christian Matheson, also collaborated on the project. The project will advance from the comic to an online format in which animated featurettes (created by the team from Broken Saints) will be shown on the official website.[47]

In October 2007, Warner Bros. Pictures in conjunction with the Electric Sheep Company launched the online multiplayer game I Am Legend: Survival in the virtual world Second Life. The game is the largest launched in the virtual world in support of a film release, permitting people to play against each other as the infected or the uninfected across a replicated 60 acres (240,000 m2) of New York City.[48] The studio also hired the ad agency Crew Creative to develop a website that would be specifically viewable on the iPhone.[49]

Box office[edit]

I Am Legend grossed $77,211,321 on its opening weekend in 3,606 theaters, averaging $21,412 per venue, and placing it at the top of the box office. This set a record for highest grossing opening for a film for the month of December.[50] The film grossed $256,393,010 in North America and $585,349,010 worldwide.[1] The film was the sixth highest grossing film of 2007 in North America, and as of April 2010 stands among the top 100 all-time highest grossing films both domestically and worldwide (unadjusted for ticket price inflation).[1]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on March 18, 2008 in two editions: a one-disc release, including the movie with four animated comics ("Death As a Gift," "Isolation," "Sacrificing the Few for the Many," and "Shelter"), and other DVD-ROM features; and a two-disc special edition that includes all these extras, an alternative theatrical version of the movie with an alternate ending,[51] and a digital copy of the film.[52] On the high-definition end, the movie has been released on the Blu-ray Disc format and HD DVD format along with the DVD release; with the HD-DVD version being released later on April 8, 2008.[53] Both HD releases include all the features available in the two-disc DVD edition.[53] A three-disk Ultimate Collector's Edition was also released on December 9, 2008.[54]

The film has sold 7.04 million DVDs and earned $126.2 million in revenue, making it the sixth best-selling DVD of 2008.[55] However, Warner Bros was reportedly "a little disappointed" with the film's performance on the DVD market.[56]

Soundtrack[edit]

I Am Legend
Film score by James Newton Howard
ReleasedJanuary 15, 2008
Length44:00
LabelVarèse Sarabande
ProducerJames Newton Howard
James Newton Howard chronology
The Water HorseI Am Legend

The soundtrack for I Am Legend was released on January 15, 2008, under the record label Varèse Sarabande. The music was composed by James Newton Howard.

I Am Legend Soundtrack
No.TitleLength
1."My Name Is Robert Neville"  2:50
2."Deer Hunting"  1:16
3."Evacuation"  4:26
4."Scan Her Again"  1:41
5."Darkseeker Dogs"  2:16
6."Sam's Gone"  1:45
7."Talk To Me"  0:55
8."The Pier"  5:17
9."Can They Do That?"  2:09
10."I'm Listening"  2:09
11."The Jagged Edge"  5:15
12."Reunited"  7:49
13."I'm Sorry"  2:21
14."Epilogue"  4:13
Total length:
44:00

Critical reception and awards[edit]

Most critics were favorable towards the film.[57] The consensus among favorable reviews was that Will Smith's performance overcame questionable special effects.[58] Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 70% of critics gave the film positive write-ups, based on 210 reviews.[59] At the similar website Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to each review, the film has received an average score of 65, based on 37 reviews.[60]

A. O. Scott wrote that Will Smith gave a "graceful and effortless performance" and also noted the "third-act collapse". He felt that the movie "does ponder some pretty deep questions about the collapse and persistence of human civilization".[61] Dana Stevens of Slate wrote that the movie lost its way around the hour mark, noting that "the Infected just aren't that scary."[30] NPR critic Bob Mondello noted the film's subtext concerning global terrorism and that this aspect made the film fit in perfectly with other, more direct cinematic explorations of the subject.[62] Richard Roeper gave the film a positive review on the television program At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper, commending Will Smith as being in "prime form," also saying there are "some amazing sequences" and that there was "a pretty heavy screenplay for an action film."[63] The film has been criticized for diverging from Matheson's novel, especially in its portrayal of a specifically Christian theme.[64] Much of the negative criticism has concerned the film's third act,[37][38][65] some critics favoring the alternative ending in the DVD release.[51]

Popular Mechanics published an article on December 14, 2007[66] addressing some of the scientific issues raised by the film:

  1. the rate of deterioration of urban structures, infrastructure, and survival of fauna and flora
  2. the plausibility of a retrovirus spreading out of control as depicted in the film. (The measles virus depicted in the film, however, is not a retrovirus, but is in fact a part of the Paramyxovirus family.)
  3. the mechanics of the Brooklyn Bridge's destruction

The magazine solicited reactions from Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us, virologist W. Ian Lipkin, M.D., and Michel Bruneau, PhD, comparing their predictions with the film's depictions. The article raised the most questions regarding the virus' mutation and the medical results, and pointed out that a suspension bridge like the Brooklyn Bridge would likely completely collapse rather than losing only its middle span. Neville's method of producing power using gasoline-powered generators seemed the most credible: "This part of the tale is possible, if not entirely likely," Popular Mechanics editor Roy Berendsohn says.

Philosopher Slavoj Zizek criticized the film politically as being the most regressive adaptation from the novel (others being The Last Man on Earth in 1964 and The Omega Man in 1971). He claimed that while the original novel had a progressive multicultural message where Neville became a "legend" to the new creatures and is subsequently killed by them (much like vampires were legends to humans); the 2007 film finds a cure for the Darkseekers and it is delivered by a survivor through apparent divine intervention. According to Zizek this misses the original message and "openly opt[s] for religious fundamentalism."[67]

I Am Legend earned four nominations for the Visual Effects Society Awards,[68] and was also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards,[69] Outstanding Film and Actor at the Image Awards,[70] and Best Sound at the Satellite Awards. In June 2008, Will Smith won a Saturn Award for Best Actor.[71] Will Smith also won the MTV Movie Awards for Best Male Performance.[72]

Possible sequel/prequel[edit]

Francis Lawrence said in late 2008 that there would be a prequel and that Will Smith would be reprising his role. He stated that the film would reveal what happens to Neville before the infected take over New York. D. B. Weiss was recruited to write the script, while Lawrence would direct "if we figure out the story". Smith stated the film would have Neville and his team going from New York City to Washington, D.C. and back again, as they made their last stand.[73] The film would again explore the premise of what it's like to be alone, as Lawrence explained, "... the tough thing is, how do we do that again and in a different way?"[74]

On May 3, 2011, Francis Lawrence stated that, so far as it involved him, the prequel was dead, with Lawrence stating, "I don't think that's ever going to happen."[75]

In 2012, Warner Brothers announced that deals had been made to produce "another installment" (not the rumored prequel), with the intention of having Will Smith reprise his role.[76]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "I Am Legend (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  2. ^ Before I Am Legend's release in cinemas in 2007, the direct -to-DVD I Am Omega was released by The Asylum to cash-in on the adaptation's potential success. Todd McCarthy (December 7, 2007). "I Am Legend review". Variety. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  3. ^ "A 'Legend' in the Making". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2008. 
  4. ^ "I Am Legend is named zombie novel of the century". 
  5. ^ The DVD/Blu-ray subtitles refer to the infected as hemocytes – actually a cell type found in an insect's immune system.
  6. ^ LEWIS BEALE (January 14, 007). "A Variation on Vampire Lore That Won't Die". New York Times. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h David Hughes (April 22, 2002). "Legend of the Fall: Will Ridley Scott's I Am Legend Rise From The Dead". The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1-55652-449-8. 
  8. ^ a b c Lewis Beale (January 14, 2007). "A variation on vampire lore that won't die". The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c Anita M. Busch (June 5, 1997). "Scott, Arnold: 'Legend'-ary duo?". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  10. ^ Anita M. Busch (July 2, 1997). "Scott is stuff of 'Legend'". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  11. ^ Louis B. Parks (August 22, 1997). "Arnold's 'Legend' coming here". Houston Chronicle. 
  12. ^ Michael Fleming (December 4, 1997). "'Legend' may not live on; Leighton lightens up". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  13. ^ Chris Petrikin (April 13, 1998). "Fox reins in 'Riders'". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Schwarzenegger's 'Legend' is in peril". Chicago Tribune. March 16, 1998. 
  15. ^ Benedict Carver (August 18, 1998). "Col taps duo for 'Space'". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  16. ^ Charles Lyons (July 17, 2000). "Bowman will reign over Spyglass' 'Fire'". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Chris Lee (November 4, 2007). "Will Smith: a one-man show". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 15, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2007. 
  18. ^ Michael Fleming (March 17, 2002). "'Legend' rekindled by Arnold". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  19. ^ Vanessa Juarez (May 19, 2006). "Most Delayed Movie Ever?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h David M. Halbfinger (November 4, 2007). "The City That Never Sleeps, Comatose". New York Times. Retrieved November 5, 2007. 
  21. ^ Michael Fleming (September 13, 2005). "Helmer takes on 'Legend' for WB". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f Jeff Jensen (August 16, 2007). "Will Smith: Making a 'Legend'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2007. 
  23. ^ a b Ian Nathan (January 2008). "Last Man Standing". Empire. pp. 109–114. 
  24. ^ Michael Fleming (April 25, 2006). "'Legend' reborn again at Warners". Variety. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  25. ^ a b c d e Ian Nathan (October 2007). "I Am Legend". Empire. pp. 78–81. 
  26. ^ a b Min Lee (December 7, 2007). "Will Smith says new film 'I Am Legend' hasn't secured China release". Associated Press. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  27. ^ Adam Markowitz (November 2, 2007). "The Dog". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 5, 2007. 
  28. ^ a b Wilson Morales (September 19, 2006). "I Am Legend casting news". Blackfilm.com. Retrieved September 19, 2006. 
  29. ^ Paul Davidson (October 4, 2006). "Another Smith Joins Legend". IGN. Retrieved October 15, 2006. 
  30. ^ a b Dana Stevens (December 14, 2007). "I Am Legend, reviewed". Slate. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  31. ^ Simon Gray (February 1, 2008). "Island of Lost Souls". American Cinematographer (Los Angeles, California, United States: American Society of Cinematographers) 89 (2): 32. ISSN 0002-7928. 
  32. ^ a b Garth Franklin (August 16, 2006). ""I Am Legend" Taking Time To Film". Dark Horizons. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  33. ^ Joseph Steuer (April 24, 2007). "A 'Legend' in the making". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 28, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  34. ^ Addiego, Walter (December 14, 2007). "Review: I, human – Will Smith plays last man standing in 'I Am Legend'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 22, 2007. 
  35. ^ Joseph Steuer (April 24, 2007). "Government agencies cover filmmakers in red tape". Reuters. Retrieved September 17, 2007. 
  36. ^ "Francis Lawrence on I Am Legend Re-shoots". ShockTillYouDrop.com. December 3, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2007. 
  37. ^ a b Maher, Kevin (December 27, 2007). "I Am Legend review". London: The Times. Retrieved January 24, 2008. 
  38. ^ a b Bloom, Bob (December 13, 2007). "I Am Legend review". rec.arts.movies.reviews. Archived from the original on December 31, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  39. ^ Sony Pictures Imageworks - I Am Legend
  40. ^ Harris, Chris (December 13, 2007). "Mike Patton Hits The Big Screen, Voicing 'I Am Legend' Baddies And Scoring 'Perfect' Indie Flick". Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  41. ^ Billington, Alex (March 5, 2008). "Must Watch: I Am Legend's Original Ending". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
  42. ^ "Shooting Dates for I Am Legend". ComingSoon.net. August 16, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  43. ^ "I Am Legend". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  44. ^ "UK Film release schedule". Film Distributors' Association. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  45. ^ Patrick Frater (December 5, 2007). "China sets 3-month ban on U.S. films". Variety. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  46. ^ "I Am Legend: Awakening". Warner Bros. Retrieved January 23, 2008. [dead link]
  47. ^ Erik Amaya (July 28, 2007). "CCI: This Book is Legend". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 30, 2007. 
  48. ^ Warner Bros. Pictures (October 12, 2007). "I Am Legend: Survival Launched in Second Life". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved October 12, 2007. 
  49. ^ Carly Mayberry (October 11, 2007). "Site a 'Legend' for iPhone". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved November 9, 2007. 
  50. ^ "‘I Am Legend’ sets big box-office record". MSNBC. Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
  51. ^ a b Todd Gilchrist and Christopher Monfette (March 11, 2008). "I Am Legend (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  52. ^ Ault, Susanne (February 29, 2008). "I Am Legend to carry digital file". Video Business. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  53. ^ a b Charles Lyons. "I Am Legend on DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray". Retrieved February 3, 2008. 
  54. ^ "I Am Legend Ultimate Collector's Edition". WBShop.com. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  55. ^ "Top Selling DVDs of 2008". www.the-numbers.com. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  56. ^ 2008 Q1 about even with last year: Blu-ray helped offset drops in consumer spending. 2008-04-16, Video Business
  57. ^ "I Am Legend reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  58. ^ "I Am Legend Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  59. ^ "I Am Legend – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  60. ^ "I Am Legend (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  61. ^ A. O. Scott (December 14, 2007). "Man About Town, and Very Alone". New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2007. 
  62. ^ "'I Am Legend' a One-Man American Metaphor". December 14, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2008. 
  63. ^ "I Am Legend review". Archived from the original on December 29, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2007. [dead link]
  64. ^ Journal of Religion & Film: Film Review: I Am Legend reviewed by Christopher M. Moreman
  65. ^ Corliss, Richard (December 14, 2007). "Will Smith Gets Lost in His Legend". TIME. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  66. ^ McCarthy, Erin (December 14, 2007). "I Am Legend's Junk Science: Hollywood Sci-Fi vs. Reality". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved December 29, 2007. 
  67. ^ Zizek, Slavoj (2011). Living in the End Times. Verso Books. p. 64. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  68. ^ "6th Annual VES Awards Recipients". Visual Effects Society. Retrieved April 11, 2010. [dead link]
  69. ^ "Nominations Announced for the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild. December 20, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2010. [dead link]
  70. ^ "Nominees for the 39th NAACP Image Awards Announced" (PDF). NAACP. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  71. ^ "2007 12th Annual Satellite Awards". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  72. ^ "Will Smith Profile: Biography, Filmography & Photos – Yahoo! Movies UK". uk.movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  73. ^ Steve Weintraub (December 5, 2008). "Will Smith talks I AM LEGEND prequel". Collider.com. Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  74. ^ "Director Talks "I Am Legend" Prequel". WorstPreviews.com. January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009. 
  75. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: 'I Am Legend Prequel' Is Dead, Says Francis Lawrence". MoviesBlog.MTV.com. May 3, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  76. ^ Fleming, Mike. February 17, 2012, deadline.com, "Warner Bros Plans More ‘I Am Legend’ With Will Smith". Accessed February 19, 2012.

External links[edit]