|09-17-2005, 03:33 AM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Florida, USA
It looks like one of the most hotly-anticipated and often-delayed film projects may be finally getting off the ground.
I AM LEGEND is Richard Matheson's classic tale of possibly the last man on Earth, after a deadly plague has wiped out much of the population. Those who are not lucky enough to be killed off turn into ravenous vampire-like creatures. Matheson's protagonist nightly holes up in his compound and fights off the creatures against incredible odds. It's a multi-layed sci-fi horror classic about the struggle for survival, for better or worse.
I AM LEGEND has previously been filmed as THE LAST MAN ON EARTH starring Vincent Price and THE OMEGA MAN starring Charlton Heston. The newest film version of LEGEND has been in the planning stages for a long time. The screenplay has gone through multiple drafts, including one controversial (but entertaining) one that was leaked online.
Delays were often attributed to the ever-developing screenplay and the constant inavailability of Warner Bros.' dream star. Arnold Schwarzenegger was attached to the project for a long time, but never committed to it due to a busy schedule, waffling priorities and all-around diva like behavior. Other projects that Schwarzenegger put in perpetual limbo include DOC SAVAGE, SGT. ROCK and Paul Verhoeven's CRUSADE. Thankfully (for the film anyway), the increasingly irrelevant icon decided to enter conservative politics and became poster boy for the Republican party until his job approval rating dropped faster than the second week grosses of MOTORCROSS THE MOVIE. Schwarzenegger would have been completely ill-suited to I AM LEGEND. After all, the film is about an ordinary yet intelligent man who is pushed to his limits. You know what happens when Arnold tries to be an ordinary guy? JINGLE ALL THE WAY, that's what.
Schwarzenegger was the main figure in the film's development but he wasn't the only name being tossed around. Bruce Willis, Will Smith and Kurt Russell (who would have done a fine job) were all considered for the lead. Proposed directors for the project have included James Cameron, Michael Bay and Ridley Scott.
But according to Variety, all of them have lost out to Francis Lawrence. Lawrence made his directorial debut earlier this year with CONSTANTINE, which I suppose one could look at as a practice run for I AM LEGEND. Like many directors in Hollywood, Lawrence cut his teeth on high-end music videos. His credits are far too numerous to list, but some of the highlights include works for: Green Day ("Warning"), Jay-Z ("Girl's Best Friend"), Sarah McLachlan ("Aida"), Destiny's Child ("Independent Women Part 1"), Gwen Stefani ("What You Waiting For?"), Garbage ("Breaking Up the Girl"), Pink ("Just Like a Pill"), Aerosmith ("Jaded"), Black Eyed Peas ("Let's Get It Started"), Audioslave ("Be Yourself") and former LEGEND contender Will Smith ("Nod Ya Head") to name a few. David Heyman, Akiva Goldsman, Neal Moritz and Erwin Stoff are producing the film. Mark Protosevich (THE CELL) has written the latest script.
Warners hopes to get things rolling by 2006. So, we can expect a winter 2006 or summer 2007 release. That is, unless it gets delayed for another ten years.
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Scott W. Davis
|09-22-2005, 10:01 PM||#2|
Join Date: Jun 2005
Thanks to Mr. Davis for commenting on this.. I am Legend is one of the great books that I would like to see turned into a GOOD movie in my lifetime (IMAGICA by Clive Barker is another one, ENDERS GAME, RED STORM RISING, THE FOREVER WAR are others, and the LOTR books did happen!).
I remember watching "The omega man" with my father, I was a wee kid back then, and really digged the movie, part of Heston's apocaliptic themed movies of the 70's (the others? the great Planet of the Apes and the so so Soylent Green).
Years went by and I finally got the movie again some time ago.. it was... not quite... the same... enjoyment... anyway, the "based on the book by Richard Matheson" always got to me. I am always on the "book" side of the book vrs movie thing, so I look around and finally bought it. Read it in a night. It became, instantly, one of my all time favorites.
I like the idea of it being turned into a movie, but as with "A sound of thunder" I am suspicious. After all, the fact that they had thought about Mr. Arnold to be the lead kinda makes me thing they had a BAD translation from movie to book. Here's to the movie doing it justice.
It is a great book, and everyone should make a point on reading it.
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