CON: I Am Legend

Panelists: Comic book writers/artists Orson Scott Card, Richard Christian Matheson, Mark Protosevich, Steve Niles, Bill Sienkiewicz, David Levy and Jason Chan

I was looking forward to this panel for one reason and one reason only: I love Richard Matheson’s book I AM LEGEND. A great piece of work that has yet to be adapted properly (in my pointless opinion, of course) for the big screen. Sure, the two past attempts OMEGA MAN and THE LAST MAN ON EARTH had their moments, but they never got close to the magic that is Matheson’s novel. So I went in there wanting to be convinced that the new adaptation, directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will “I ruin sci-fi films via out of place humor” Smith would be the money.

Oddly enough though, this panel focused mostly on the companion prequel comic book and upcoming online incarnations. Granted, the comic’s story and striking artwork were impressive (see examples below), but I really wanted to hear more about the film. Kind of odd that WB didn’t go "buck-wild" in terms of pushing this one at the Con. Oh well… what can you do.

So here’s what I saw and learned! We were shown a 2D reel communicating some of the comic’s pages (a village in South Africa being contained as to to the vamp infection by dudes in gas masks with big guns) with sound effects and a moving score in tow.

I really enjoyed the clip and word has it that it will find its way online shortly (keep checking into the film's OFFICIAL SITE for more on that). The panelists then threw some nuggets of info our way and here are some of the ones I caught. Look for film in theaters on December 17.

- The new film will not have any nods/winks to the two previous cinematic incarnations: OMEGA MAN and THE LAST MAN ON EARTH.

Screenwriter Protosevich (THE CELL) said that this film would have "real intensity and seriousness". Nice!

- The creatures in the films are allergic to sunlight and crave blood much like all of my ex-girlfriends, but are never referred to as vampires in the film.

- Richard Matheson’s son says that his dad already saw the new film and called it “first class”. That bodes well for us!

- I AM LEGEND has been in development for about 10 years or so. Arnold Schwarzenegger was attached to the project in the 90’s, up until the point that he became governor. Ridley Scott was set to direct. They even had an art department opened up and were scouting locations. It didn’t happen due to an over inflating budget.

- Steve Niles was deeply affected by the "I Am Legend" book as a kid. When he was 19 years old, he approached Richard Matheson with the idea of doing a graphic novel of his book. Matheson let Niles do it for 100 bucks.

- The comic acts as a prequel to the film, exploring the events that eventually bring us to Neville alone on earth having to fend off pesky "vampires".

- The comic is far from just a promotional tool for the film, it is also a valid extension of it. Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith are very much involved in its development and are actually the ones who pitched it to WB in the first place.

- The comic book prequel focuses on a family that is stuck in traffic during rush hour when the vamp epidemic breaks out.

- Even though the book was set in San Francisco, then L.A., it eventually ended up in New York for the film. Protosevich said that it might've been because they wanted to see what that city would look like after such a thing.

Keep tabs on everything that is
"I Am Legend" here!

Source: JoBlo.com



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