‘I Am Legend’ Could End “Better”: This Is The Alternative Ending – CINEMABLEND

Will Smith’s blockbuster ended up dividing the audience, but did you know that other possibilities were being considered?

Making a movie in Hollywood and ending with a sad, heroless ending is almost like being a Catholic and eating meat during Lent. It is almost a sacrilege. This was the main reason why I’m legend it ended with the character of Will Smith becoming a hero and left out a very interesting alternative ending that would have fit better with the philosophy of Richard Matheson, author of the novel on which the film is based.

The book I’m legend It was published in 1954 and throughout these more than five decades it has had several adaptations. The first came in 1964 from Vincent Price and his the last man on earth. then they came last man alive (1971), i am omega (2007) and, yes, the I’m legend by Francis Lawrence starring Will Smith. None of them have had the ending Matheson wanted.

Let’s do a little memory. I’m legend It ends when Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville (Smith) has found the cure to end the horrible virus that has turned humans into vampires. As he gets hold of the solution, the creatures enter the building and go after him. looking 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.. Anna and Ethan arrive at a colony in Vermont where several survivors live, and it is implied that humanity has been saved.

Although it is tragic, it is also a very ‘Hollywood’ ending, with the hero sacrificing himself to save the world from ‘the bad guys’, that is, from those creatures that have transformed the world. However, the original ending of the author raised a much more interesting reflection and quite far from the typical American films.

In the book, the creatures have developed intelligence and have formed their own society. They are, so to speak, a new species on Earth with traits very similar to humans. Neville, who has been killing them for a long time, is seen by them as a true monster. He is someone they fear and hate, since he goes against his kind. When Neville realizes who he is and what he has become, he decides to kill himself and set the mutants free.

The other ending that almost has the movie ‘I am legend’

Director of I’m legend, Francis Lawrence, had in mind an alternative ending that fell between the original novel and the version that appeared on screen. 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. The rest of the creatures are trying to enter to save him and Neville decides to let him go free. He abandons his investigation and leaves with Anna and Ethan for Vermont with the cure in his pocket. Although it has part of what the original author wanted to tell, he still does not present the protagonist as a fearsome monster / serial killer.

A few years ago, Lawrence reflected on the ending and stated that they could have approached it more faithfully to the 1954 book. The director was worried about making the studio happy and acknowledges that they tried to pull off the most faithful ending, but agrees that the original version is the “best”. “The hero doesn’t find the cure, does he?

They go off into the unknown and the creatures you’ve been saying are the bad guys the whole time you learn they actually have humanity and aren’t the bad guys: the hero is the bad guy. And then basically you’ve turned everything on its head. We tried it twice and it was very rejected, very rejected, that’s why we went out with the other one

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 the 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 a lot 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 create something of a show”, he told ScreenRant.

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