Friday, June 08, 2007
I am Legend Preview Now Live
In 1954, Richard Matheson's I am Legend was published. The book featured a world depopulated due to the effects of a plague which infected its victims with an illness similar to vampirism. The novel's protagonist, the world's last "pure strain" human, explored the phenomenon from a purely scientific approach. He attempted to find out why and how what happened occurred, while simultaneously hunting the "undead" during the daylight hours. What begins as a simple monster hunt ends with the protagonist discovering not all of his victims were a scourge. In fact, Neville Morgan (the protagonist) finds that he himself is viewed as a monster by many of those he hunts.
The novel explored the psychological terror of being the last person in the world and the moral consequences of an "obsolete" organism murdering the next stage of life. Like later films of "Zombiegeddon" the book contained its share of social criticism and insight into the human condition.
The book has already been made into two films. Both The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price and Omega Man starring Charlton Heston are classic films in the apocalyptic genre. One can also see echoes of the underlying narrative in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later.
This December we will see the release of a third film based upon the novel. Will Smith stars as the protagonist in the Francis Lawrence (Constantine) directed version. The trailer for the film is live. The film also stars Salli Richardson from the great new SciFi series Eureka.