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Behind the Scenes of: I Am Legend (2007)

Behind the scenes of: I Am Legend (2007)

Will Smith, convincingly fighting off a Darkseeker dog head, operated by an actor/puppeteer wearing a green-screen suit in the third movie adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic novel.

Interestingly this movie was in development for years before it got made.

Back in the late 90s Ridley Scott was in charge of the project with Arnold Schwarzenegger set to star in the lead role.

Scott had big plans for the film and detailed concept art and sculptures of the vampire-like characters he called “Hemocytes” were even created.

Apparently the first hour of the film would’ve had no dialogue at all, following a depressed, alcoholic Robert Neville (Arnie) struggling to make something of his crushingly lonely existence. Anyone doubting whether or not he would’ve pulled it off should watch Maggie (2015). Arnie may never win an academy award for best actor but he can definitely rise to the challenge for the right project.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you see it) the whole idea got scrapped due to various reasons - two of them being Arnie’s salary eating up a lot of the budget, and the fact that both he and Scott had had a string of box office bombs around that time and the studio didn’t think the movie was a safe bet.

Personally I would’ve loved to have seen that version!

If you’ve read the book you’ll know that the 2007 film shares little in common with it other than the title, the main character’s name and the general idea of one man being the only human left alive after a pandemic.

In the book, published in 1954 (but set in the 1970s) a mysterious virus sweeps over the earth, killing millions and turning all but one of its inhabitants into nocturnal, blood sucking versions of their former selves.

I’m not a big reader but I’ve read the book a couple of times now and it’s a real page turner!

I like this movie but I’d love to see a more truthful adaptation of the book at some point…

This short video looks into more of the concept art and early make up trials of the cancelled Ridley Scott version. It’s worth a watch.


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