I am Legend is a Will Smith film based on a 1950's novel of the same name, written by Richard Matheson. Back then the subject matter may have been new, but today it has been pretty well mined. A pandemic sweeps the planet, infecting everyone but our main character, Robert Neville (played by Smith.) The "infection" is essentially vampirism attributed to a disease. Yeah, like I said, it may have been a new idea in the '50s, but not today.
I'm yapping about this flick because of a trailer that popped up on firstshowing today. That doesn't mean the story can't be brilliant or entertaining, or both. I don't know that I've ever seen Will Smith be brilliant, but he's beyond entertaining, and the right material may just get it done for him.
The central plot point of the novel revolves around people who are only partially infected, who capture Neville (yes, I'm regurgitating this from Wikipedia (book, film), I've never read the book) and cry on his shoulder about their plight.
This book has been adapted twice, and failed twice. Ridley Scott was supposed to be doing the third version and I'm extremely disappointed that it didn't happen, that would have been an extremely interesting film. Instead, we get the guy who directed Constantine, which was an entertaining film, but hardly creative in a visual sense.
Now here's a bit of a wild card - Akiva Goldsman has writing the script this time. Many writers think Goldsman is a complete hack who got extremely lucky, and since he wrote the two previous Batman scripts that proceeded Batman Begins, I'd tend to agree. Then again, I really enjoyed Lost in Space and I, Robot, and he won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind.
Take of it what you will, this film will not be wanting for expensive visual effects and may in the end be a damn good flick. The book supposedly focused heavily on the mental state of Neville and went to lengths to portray him as an everyday man dealing with impossible circumstances, which is generally what you want to do in any character driven drama. I just hope Goldsman and Lawrence recognize the brilliance of telling stories that way, and don't turn him into an action hero cliche.
We don't need another Blade, thank you very much.
Before I run off, I've got to complain about this silly poster. "The last man on Earth is not alone", sounds about as stupid as "we stand alone, together." Forget stumbling across the line, this poster got drunk and puked all over the line, passed out, and is now sleeping on the middle of the street.