The Will Smith adaptation of I Am Legend was by no means a bad movie, and after grossing over $580 million dollars at the box office, the producers of the film probably had nothing to complain about, but true fans of the Richard Matheson classic, couldn't help but note (especially when you watch the video above) that it missed the over all point of the book.
The tale of Robert Neville, the last human left alive in a world now populated by vampires, although seen by the general public as scary pulp fair, was really a brilliantly spun allegory for the price a person must pay for continuing to maintain their individuality, in a world of ever staggering conformity. Remember, It was written in the 1950's, a time when your skin being the 'wrong color' could mean that you couldn't go certain places, and you always kept your hair clipped short and your shirt tucked in, if you didn't want to get kicked out of class, banned from Disneyland, or be straight out beat up. While never directly pointing out these social injustices, Matheson was able to pen just the right metaphor to capture the emotional implications and sense of isolation that understanding them brought.
So, when Ridley Scott originally went to the task of developing I Am Legend for the silver screen (with the help of Harbinger Down creators StudioADI) readers were hopeful that they would get a true adaption, worthy of literature.
However, it was not meant to be, and in 2007, moviegoers were treated to another in a long line of big budget, CGI, movie fair, but nothing more. While Smith gave a great performance, the plot soon went off the rails, and what could have been some truly creepy vampires, where reduced to infected mutants, with stretchy jaws, jumping around, and making us feel like we would meet their mummy leader at any moment.
So, now that a reboot is in the works, is Hollywood ready to give us something with a little more substance, mood, and worthiness of the source material, like what Scott and ADI originally intended to give us? One can only hope.
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