29 November 2006

I Am...Out Of Gas?

"I Am Legend" is finally being made--a friend of mine in NYC watched the crew shooting a few weeks ago, and if that isn't proof enough, two advance one-sheet concepts have turned up online. Assuming these aren't fan made fakes, my initial response is...underwhelmed. I'm all for the "soft sell" approach on this one--there's nary a bloodsucker in sight--as Matheson's original tale was one of first-person paranoia and existential malaise against the inevitability of a new world order, although most will remember it for its vampires and action. Will Smith is a fine enough actor, but I can't say I'm 100% crazy about his being cast as Robert Neville (I'm still stinging over the sloppy, schizo "I, Robot"). I'm even less happy about the action being relocated to Manhattan--the tale seemed uniquely wired to LA's sun-baked exteriors and sprawling, mobius-loop highways.

On the plus side, the director is Francis Lawrence, whose loosey-goosey "Hellblazer" adaptation "Constantine" was pretty good, I thought. And you can't beat Matheson's concept, which was ill-served by "The Last Man On Earth" and "The Omega Man". And the New York location will isolate the action to the island, which as we all know worked wonders for John Carpenter's "Escape From New York" (maybe they should toughen Smith up with an eyepatch).

You can check out the poster designs here. Is it just me, or does Smith look like he's pissed and waiting for CAA to arrive?