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I AM LEGEND - PREVIEW 



 


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I Am Legend (2007)

Starring:
Will Smith, Alice Braga, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Willow Smith, Charlie Tahan
Director: Francis Lawrence

U.S. Opening Date: 14 December 2007


THEY SAY

Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable... and manmade. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City... and maybe the world. But he is not alone. He is surrounded by "the Infected" - victims of the plague who have mutated into carnivorous beings who can only exist in the dark and who will devour or infect anyone or anything in their path. For three years, Neville has spent his days scavenging for food and supplies and faithfully sending out radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. All the while, the Infected lurk in the shadows, watching Neville's every move, waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But his blood is also what The Infected hunt, and Neville knows he is outnumbered and quickly running out of time.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Weed Road/Three Arts Entertainment Production, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence. The screenplay is by Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich, based on the novel by Richard Matheson. Akiva Goldsman, James Lassiter, Erwin Stoff, David Heyman and Neal Moritz are the producers, with Michael Tadross, Dana Goldberg and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.

WE SAY

The last time Batman & Robin scribe Akiva Goldsman mangled a science fiction classic, it was Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. Since the movie-going public weren’t exactly literary purists, the movie nonetheless turned out to be a box office hit for its star, Will Smith.

So in money-grubbing Hollywood logic it follows that what worked once at the box office should work again and thus Goldsman should be given another shot at mutilating a sci-fi classic. This time the poor literary property is Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend, a story about the last man on earth who spends his days and nights battling vampires, all that’s left of humanity after a devastating plague. (The story has been filmed twice already, namely as The Last Man on Earth in 1964 and the Charlton Heston-starrer The Omega Man.)

Actually I Am Legend has been in development heck for about a decade or so by now. At one stage it was to be a Ridley Scott movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Reign of Fire and X-Files helmer Rob Bowman had a shot at the property at one stage too.

Now Will Smith and Francis Lawrence, director of Constantine has started filming on the flick. Considering how good sci-fi has been for Smith (Men in Black) and how good a certain other African-American vampire-slayer has been doing at the box office one supposes it was perhaps only inevitable that the project would be fast-tracked like this all of a sudden as star vehicle for Smith.
 

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Trivia

  • Was originally going to be made in the 1990s with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring and Ridley Scott directing. The budget became too expensive and they both left the project to pursue other projects.
  • Picture Cars East was doing stunt tests on the 2008 Mustang Shelby GT500 to test the new car showroom stunt. They had a 27 foot run up to the ramp, and are jumping the Shelby through a plate glass window. In the test they were doing the landing on boxes to not harm the fairly rare car. On the first test they ripped out the radiator, and radiator support. They had to cannibalize a regular Mustang for parts to continue the test.
  • Cameron Monaghan auditioned for the part of Ethan.
  • Will Smith left the production for a couple of days to attend Tom Cruise's wedding to Katie Holmes in Rome, Italy.
  • Warner Bros. Pictures has owned the rights to the book since the 1970s. The studio first attempted adapting it in 1994 with director Ridley Scott, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which fell through when the production went over-budget. And then in 2002, Michael Bay was set to direct Will Smith, but they decided to make Bad Boys II instead.
  • Guillermo del Toro, Will Smith's first choice, turned down the offer to direct this film.
  • The scenes at the Brooklyn Bridge involved over 1000 extras and various military vehicles and aircraft.
  • Much of this film was shot on location in New York City's Washington Square Park during fall and winter 2006-2007, causing holiday decorations to be taken down and replaced tumultuously for over three months.
  • The studio spent an estimated $5,000,000 for a 6 night shoot in New York involving the Brooklyn Bridge. To film in this location, the producers needed the approval of up to 14 government agencies. The producers had to bring in a crew of 250, plus 1,000 extras, including 160 members of the National Guard in full combat gear.
     

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