“I am legend” will have a sequel Although they still do not know the details officially. What is waved and sacramented is that the first part of the film that starred Will Smithgiving life to Dr. Robert Neville, could have had an alternative and more reliable ending, in the words of its own director, Francis Lawrence, who later admits that he gave in to pressure from the producer, who had invested several million in said film hoping it will be a success.
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To contextualize, the end of the film, which was released in 2007, narrates when Robert Neville (Smith) has found the cure to end the horrible virus that has transformed humans into vampires, but while he is manufacturing the medical solution, the creatures enter the building and go for it.
Finding himself cornered, Neville decides to let his companions Anna and Ethan escape with the cure and he sacrifices himself by exploding a bomb that takes out a good number of creatures. Following the explosion, Anna and Ethan arrive at a colony in Vermont where several survivors live and it is implied that humanity has been saved. That is, a typical Hollywood ending in which the protagonist ends up being the hero.
WHAT COULD BE THE ALTERNATIVE ENDING OF “I AM A LEGEND”, A FILM STARRED BY WILL SMITH?
The film is an adaptation of the book I Am Legend, published in 1954 by Richard Matheson and which has had a series of adaptations on the big screen before the film that starred Will Smith. The first came in 1964 from the hands of Vincent Price and his “The Last Man on Earth”. Then came “The Last Man Alive” (1971), “I Am Omega” (2007) and, finally, “I Am Legend” (2007).
However, none of the productions have fulfilled the expectations of the writer Matheson, who in his publication, the creatures that Smith tries to defeat throughout the film have developed intelligence and have formed their own society. They are, in a way, a new species on Earth with traits very similar to humans, and they even see Robert Neville, who has been killing them for a long time, as a true monster. The ending in the book occurs when Neville, realizing who he really is and what he has become, decides to kill himself and set the mutants free.
Francis Lawrence, director of the film, commented in an interview with ScreenRant that he devised an alternative ending for the film, the same one that was going to be a kind of midpoint between the end of the book and the ending that ended up being recorded. In it, the protagonist realizes that the mutant he has captured to do experiments and find a cure is the leader of one of his groups.
Thus, the rest of the creatures are trying to enter the building to save him, and in the face of this, Robert Neville decides to set him free, abandons his investigation and goes with Anna and Ethan to Vermont with the cure in his pocket. This ending is not exactly what the author of the book wanted, but it is the closest thing.
WHY WASN’T THAT ALTERNATIVE ENDING OF “I AM LEGEND”, A FILM STARRED BY WILL SMITH?
In the same interview, Lawrence said that he tried his best to insert that ending in the film that starred Will Smith but the executive production rejected it. “In that ending they go off into the unknown and the creatures that looked like the bad guys all along actually have humanity and aren’t the bad guys: the hero is the bad guy. And so basically we’ve turned everything on its head. We tried it twice and he was very rejected, very rejected, that’s why we went out with the other (final) ”he explained.
Still, he regrets not having executed that ending in “I am Legend”. “I think we could have done the story of the novel directly and made the same amount of money in terms of ticket sales because people went, I think, for the last man on earth. They would have accepted the nihilistic ending, they would have accepted vampires instead of people with infections. We literally could have done the book, which I would have been so much happier with, but you know when you’re spending that much money, you panic because you’re doing this weird kind of art film about a man alone with a dog in New York and you try to to produce something of spectacle”Francis Lawrence pointed out.