WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

I enjoy reading movie scripts for projects that haven’t been made or were alternate scripts for movies that eventually went in another direction creatively. This often, however, leads to disappointment because the unused script winds up being better than what was in the real movie. I’m currently reading John Logan’s version of I Am Legend. The script is based on the events of Richard Matheson’s novel of the same name. Logan’s script was not used for what eventually became Will Smith’s I Am Legend, which I thought was incredibly disappointing. Not counting the bad direct-to-video ripoff, Matheson’s novel has now been translated to screen three times. I don’t think any of the three have truly captured the magic of the novel.

Logan’s script is nonetheless fantastic. I haven’t finished it yet but I’m about three-quarters through. In this version, Ridley Scott would have directed the movie and it would have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. It easy to tell it was written for Arnie as the main character is described as muscular, with an affinity for smoking cigars, and enjoys driving a Hummer. Some aspects of Logan’s script did make it to the Will Smith version, like the hunting of wild deer in city streets. I hope they make another I Am Legend and they finally get it right.

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