Well, after seven long years in development hell, Warner Bros. has finally decided to give up on making a sequel to 2007 Will Smith vehicle I Am Legend. Not that that means the studio has washed its hands of the property, as WB is reportedly prepping a theatrical reboot of the franchise. Sadly (or happily, depending on your opinion of the man) Will Smith has given an “oh hell no!” to being involved with the project, meaning that it will have no creative ties whatsoever to the Francis Lawrence blockbuster.
In what many will likely find to be a worrying sign for the quality of the film’s story, the current script being used for the I Am Legend reboot was not intended to be an entry in the franchise. Entitled A Garden at the End of the World, first time screenwriter Gary Graham’s script was described as a sci-fi take on the classic John Wayne western The Searchers. Warner scooped up the rights to the story, noted thematic similarities between it and I Am Legend, and then asked Graham to retool the script as the fourth big-screen adaptation of the classic Richard Matheson novel. That might sound like an odd path to take, but it’s one that’s very common in Hollywood.
In an interesting bit of trivia, Graham’s day job before getting signed by powerful agency CAA was selling iPhones at an Apple Store in Manhattan. Then he posted his script on the well-known Black List website, it got seen by the right people, and abracadabra – he’s a professional screenwriter. So, for all those wannabe scribes among us, don’t give up hope. You still might get discovered eventually.