The 2007 I Am Legend film – starring Will Smith – was so successful (it made nearly $600 million against a $150 million budget) that Warner Bros. attempted multiple times to produce a followup with Smith in it, despite the fact that his character did not survive the first film.
Those followups, of course, never came to fruition, but apparently Warners’ desire to make more I Am Legend films remained. Now, more than six years after the original film hit theaters, a new I Am Legend is in development. But don’t expect a sequel or a prequel to the original, as this new project will instead be a reboot.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is “retrofitting” a script from unknown writer Gary Graham titled A Garden at the End of the World – which was originally intended to be a science fiction take on the John Wayne film The Searchers – to kick-start their new I Am Legend franchise. Interestingly, Graham wrote the script while he was working at an Apple store and submitted it to the Black List, where it was noticed by the CAA.
“When Graham was brought in to rewrite his script, the studio by then had talked to the ‘I Am Legend’ producers and noted enough similarities to the themes and mythology of that film that they asked the scribe to consider a redraft to fit that property.”
Considering the box office haul of the original I am Legend, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. would want to make more installments, especially when monster-ravaged post-apocalyptic storytelling is all the rage these days (see: The Walking Dead, World War Z, The Strain, et cetera).
It also wouldn’t be the first time I Am Legend has been “remade.” I Am Legend, of course, was first and foremost a novel by Richard Matheson about the last man on Earth fighting a vampiric plague. That book was first adapted into the film The Last Man on Earth – starring Vincent Price – and then again as The Omega Man – starring Charlton Heston – and then finally as I Am Legend with Will Smith.
The novel also heavily inspired George Romero to create The Night of the Living Dead and its sequels, which basically makes it the progenitor for almost every single post-apocalyptic film with monsters ever made.
Arguably, none of these films faithfully adapted the novel – even in I Am Legend (2007), which was the only film to use the novel’s name, the “vampires” looked more like (computer-generated) zombies – so it would be interesting to see a film make such an attempt. Especially if they utilized the book’s ending.
That said, the book, as good as it is, is one big downer of a story, and it doesn’t seem too likely that Warners would want to transform that sort of thing into a blockbuster “franchise.”
Plus, considering the story is all about the literal last man on Earth and The Searchers is about multiple people looking for another person, we can probably assume faithfulness to the source material has already gone out the window.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you think it’s too soon to reboot I Am Legend? Would you rather see a followup starring Will Smith? Drop us a line in the comments.
The I Am Legend reboot is currently in development.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
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