October 3, 2014
Warner Bros. Making Fourth I AM LEGEND Movie, Will They Get It Right This Time?
Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is attempting a fourth adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend. The other versions include Vincent Price's The Last Man On Earth, Charles Heston's The Omega Man and Will Smith's I Am Legend. This time they are moving forward without Will Smith, a smart move on their part. Considering that Smith is known to hold-up productions and hasn't been the earner at the box office he used to be. The problems he creates during the development process, isn't worth the headaches.
The studio is looking to reboot with a spec-script entitled A Garden At The End of The World, which will be retooled to fit the I Am Legend world. This Black List script comes from newcomer screenwriter Gary Graham. A new actor will be looked-at to spearhead this potential franchise. I'm very curious what director they'll land that will be able to turn this property into a serial horror franchise.
Before the 2007 film the project had been set to film back in 1997. Ridley Scott was actually hired by the studio to direct with Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to star. John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo, The Aviator, Last Samurai, Gladiator, Any Given Sunday) penned a rewrite of the original draft, which included a long stretch of the film without any dialog for the first hour.
While that awesome film was never to be, we have some idea of cool it could have been. Studio ADI posted images and video from the makeup tests from Scott's version. To say it's impressive is an understatement. Considering the final film ended-up using unrealistic looking CGI creature effects, it's a shame to see all this practical work went to waste. However, the design work surely did influence Francis Lawrence's film greatly. The studio felt Ridley's vision was too expensive and he would go-off to make Gladiator instead.
As we're in the era of Walking Dead, you'd think Warner Bros. would aim for more practical horror effects in this new project, time will tell. Digital effects are seemingly less expensive, but don't always age well and aren't best used in horror films. Smith's I Am Legend is only seven years old, but the film looks twice it's age due to the poor digital work. The downside of digital horror effects is that they never end-up looking scary enough to be convincing, as practical makeup can.