I’m a Legendary Director regrets not using the original book ending
I am a Legend director Francis Lawrence expressed regret that he did not use the ending from Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel of the same name, saying he would have decided to make the post-apocalyptic thriller differently.
The 2007 thriller is based on Robert Neville (Will Smith), who must fight to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where a virus has turned people into vicious, vampire-like mutants. Certainly outnumbered, Neville soon discovers that he is not the only survivor. At the end of the film, Neville sacrifices himself to give fellow soldiers Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan) time to escape from the test subject in his basement laboratory.
The original ending of the film was widely criticized for missing the entire point of the novel
The director recently sat down with Josh Horowitz on the latest Happy Sad Confused podcast, where they talked about his upcoming feature The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and the final three installments of The Hunger Games , which Lawrence also directed. Around 51:18, the filmmaker explains why they changed the ending and expresses regret for doing so.
“I prefer the original ending to the two we have. But the truth is now I would have done it and built it to be able to finish the novel, just to do that story,” explained Lawrence. “But, I think, with the money being spent, everyone was nervous about doing something so nihilistic. But looking back I feel that everyone went to see The Last Man on Earth and loved it for that reason and still love it. [I Am Legend] with the nihilistic ending.”
The “excellent” alternate ending.
At the other end of the film Neville sees the female experiment back in subjection to the bloodthirsty creatures known as Darkseekers as soon as he realizes that the male director may have only wanted the test subject believed to be his mate to save him.
Neville figured out that they were, after all, the monster in the Darkseeker’s eyes as a result of his previous experiments on them and that they are actually capable of human emotions. Although it is very different from the book, some viewers believe that the alternate ending is the best, as it is more similar to Matheson’s book, which revealed that the disease sees Neville as the true monster as he has killed several members of their species.