After years of development -- and initial production rumors that included Arnold Schwarzenegger as a possible lead and Ridley Scott in the director's chair -- the trailer for the upcoming Will Smith-starring iteration of Richard
Christian Matheson's I Am Legend has arrived. The trailer seems to be long on spooky spectacle and low on sizzle -- and full of ambitious (if occasionally fake-looking) visual shots designed to suggest a weird mix of the urban and the pastoral (deer gamboling in the streets of Manhattan, a weeds-strewn field revealing one of the world's most famous thoroughfares).
Director Francis Lawrence previously gave us Constantine -- a movie that, when all was said and done, definitely captured a bizarre sense of an other-worldly Los Angeles (even if it did give us yet another variation on Zen-action-figure Keanu Reeves). I Am Legend has been captured on-screen before -- notably with Vincent Price, in 1964, as The Last Man on Earth and with Charlton Heston, in 1971, as the psychedelic and creepy Omega Man. The trailer's not enough to have me convinced - I'd buy Will Smith as the happiest man alive, but not as the last man alive -- but the footage shown for the film, fast-tracked by Warner Brothers in 2005, sure looks like they spent a lot of money. Is the shock-and-awe footage on display enough to convince you, dear readers? Do you think Warner's was smart to hold off on showing us the film's bio-altered bad guys, or are they soft-selling audiences too timidly? And after I, Robot, does anyone want to see Will Smith in science fiction any more?
(As two of our commenters have pointed out, credit is due Richard Matheson -- father to Richard Christian Matheson -- for I am Legend. I blame myself for combining the Matheson legacy incorrectly -- James.)