I AM LEGEND MOVIE PREVIEW: New Ending, Production Details

By at December 12, 2007 | 10:13 pm | Print

Will Smith in I Am Legend

As Oscar-friendly films — No Country for Old Men, Juno, There Will Be Blood — wind their way through theaters this holiday season, here comes blockbuster I Am Legend this weekend. Box-office hero Will Smith stars in this long-awaited sci-fi thriller as the last man on the planet.

After poring through press material, here’s some I Am Legend stuff worth knowing:

A “NEW” ENDING
Co-screenwriters Akiva Goldsman (The Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind) and Mark Protosevich (Poseidon) based their script on two sources: Richard Matheson’s book and the screenplay for the 1971 film The Omega Man (yeah, Heston!) The Omega Man Movie Poster Naturally, changes were made — the location is New York, not LA, the year is 2012, the ending’s different… maybe.

Goldsman: “Obviously, one of the most contentious issues … has been the ending. So I leave it to others to determine to what degree they find it faithful.”

This gets weirder. Director Francis Lawrence (Constantine) tells Sci Fi Wire he reshot and altered the movie’s ending. And, as you may already know, Will Smith lost his overexuberant mind and gave away the ending during a Tokyo press conference. Or did he? Perhaps it was a planned decoy…

I AM ALONE
How did Smith prepare to play the loneliest guy ever? He researched the experience of POWs, to better understand the concept of solitude.

Smith: “… you don’t have people to create the stimulus for you to respond to … you start creating the stimulus and the response. You learn things about yourself that you never would even imagine.”

To enter that frame of mind, Will Smith spent time with Geronimo ji-Jaga, a Black Panther who spent three months in solitary confinement: “It was such a great exploration of what happens to the human mind that is trying to defend itself. And, for me, I’m a better actor for having to create both sides of the scene with no dialogue.”

WORLDWIDE CATASTROPHE
Although the film takes place in New York — and was shot on location — the whole world is dead and decimated. (Except for those creatures lurking in the shadows, heh, heh.) So Warner Brothers churned out nine beautifully designed posters featuring the global devastation in nine locations. Here’s a personal favorite:
I Am Legend Movie Poster

See 13 I Am Legend movie posters here

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Trackbacks For This Post

  1. […] around two specific finales has spilled over to their 2008 DVD releases. The first is I Am Legend (see our preview notes on the new ending), just out last Tuesday. The alternate ending we wrote about in December hit online video portals a […]

  2. […] millions of other people, I saw about ten minutes of The Dark Knight preceding I Am Legend. It was big, it was fun, and it was […]

  3. […] has been outstanding since the infamous Joker bank robbery scene that screened before showings of I Am Legend :: 6 The grass roots marketing is insanely creative and complex :: 7 Unfortunately, there will be a […]

  4. […] Paddington Harry Potter series and I Am Legend producer David Heyman has decided to “please look after this bear,” bringing the famed […]

  5. […] four films), Catching Fire began shooting in and around Atlanta this week, with Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) directing a screenplay by Oscar winner and Danny Boyle favorite Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog […]

  6. […] who does a decent job with busier sci-fi and fantasy films, as he’s shown with The Cell and I Am Legend. I wonder how many times Protosevich has watched the original… (Yes, I wonder these […]

  7. […] But this sequel is better cast, well-wound and powerfully paced. Director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) aims his sights at a broader action-adventure audience with an uptick of intensity, improving on […]

13 Comments


  1. Scott, 9 years ago Reply

    How ironic that one of mankind’s smoothest and most adorable players would find himself alone in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing it.


  2. Norm S., 9 years ago Reply

    - Scott –

    I’m looking forward to seeing it too (I’m saving it for some family members who dig all the apocalyptic movies).

    I think after Ali (or maybe even Six Degrees of Separation?), most people think Will Smith can handle stuff that may even seem against his demeanor. I’m guessing you’d agree.

    -Norm S.


  3. Scott, 9 years ago Reply

    That was my poor attempt at humor. I saw it last night – Smith did great – I agree with many critics in that its potential wasn’t fully realized, but its definitely worth seeing.


  4. Norm S., 9 years ago Reply

    - Scott –

    From the huge box office, it sounds like a lot of people agreed with you…

    -Norm S.


  5. warren, 9 years ago Reply

    does the dog die!? For f*ck sake… *under my breath*


  6. Norm S., 9 years ago Reply

    - Warren –

    Did you see the movie, buddy? If not, I don’t want to give anything away… If you did, how are you asking that question?

    -Norm S.


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