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I Am Legend Prequel


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Francis Lawrence on I Am Legend & Kings

The Kings director talks TV and sequels.

Fred Topel, CraveOnline

March 24, 2009

NBC's new series Kings tells a modern version of the King David story in a fictional country, like America but with a monarchy. Francis Lawrence directed the pilot, thus jumpstarting the series. We spoke with him about the show but ended up geeking out more about the I Am Legend prequel, including the alternate DVD ending which could have left an opening for a real sequel. So spoiler alert if you haven't seen the $200 million grossing I Am Legend yet.

Crave Online: Where are you with the I Am Legend prequel?

Francis Lawrence: Not very far along. Will and Akiva talked about ideas and we've hired a writer who is writing it. I haven't seen the script yet so we're just trying to figure it out still.

Crave Online: I loved the alternate ending on the DVD. It would've been great to see a sequel.

Francis Lawrence: That was our original ending.

Crave Online: Was there ever a thought of doing a sequel without Will Smith?

Francis Lawrence: No, I don't think so.

Crave Online: I Am Legend picks up three years after the outbreak, so where in that timeframe can you start?

Francis Lawrence: Right now we're sort of focusing on from basically the moment after the helicopter with his wife and kid goes down until being the last person on earth.

Crave Online: Will we still get to see Will by himself with the dog?

Francis Lawrence: Oh yeah. Obviously, the hard thing about it and why we're being very careful and not rushing in is just that I think Will and Akiva and I all got into this because we fell in love with the idea of the last man on earth. What it would be like, what it does to you, the kind of storytelling you have to do. It's one person by themselves and no dialogue, what that world looks like. It was fun and that's what we really loved. So you have to figure out if we're going to go back into that world, how do we go back and how are we able to attack those kinds of things again without sort of just retreading over the same territory.

Crave Online: The people who freaked out that the dog died should be happy she'll be back.

Francis Lawrence: Yeah. You know, I actually think people had a harder time with the girl showing up than they did with the dog dying. Honestly. I think it's a tough one when you're making a movie about the last man and a girl shows up and changes the story. I think that's what people had a hard time with.

Crave Online: So what other parts might there be for other actors?

Francis Lawrence: I have no idea yet. Really don't have any idea. We're just really trying to find the story and see what we kind of walk into so that we can all kind of get geared up and get energized about it. That's really what we're trying to find.

Crave Online: Will we get to see Will's abs again?

Francis Lawrence: Yeah, except I doubt if we told the story earlier, his abs wouldn't be in quite the same shape as they'd be in now because that's obviously after he's been by himself and he's hit that self-survival routine that he does that exercising.

Crave Online: I love the scenes where he has to pillage the wasteland for supplies.

Francis Lawrence: It was so much fun. Honestly, that kind of stuff is why I did that movie. It was less about the monsters and things like that and a lot more about that first hour of the movie, the guy by himself. That's what I liked about it.

Crave Online: I prefer to watch the DVD with the alternate ending because that makes more sense to me. I understand the scientist sacrificing himself in the end, but to know that the other version exists…

Francis Lawrence: It was interesting to watch because that was our original ending and I really like it, but I also understand why people rejected it. We broke a lot of rules of storytelling which is you get to the end and you say your hero is wrong. He can't find a cure. What he thinks is entirely wrong. These things you've been setting up as horribly scary are not. They actually have humanity. And then you're sort of setting him out into the world not knowing whether or not there's people out there. Movies would usually say yes, he's right. Yes, he's going to win and there's people out there and they find them.

Crave Online: I'm not so hung up on the book where you show that he's the monster to the monsters, but the way your ending plays out works.

Francis Lawrence: I think what you responded to was the idea, right? It was an ending based on an idea. It's about perceptions and these things have humanity and he viewed them the wrong way and he's the monster to them, which was our real nod to the book. And truly not knowing whether this girl's f*cking crazy or not and going out there like okay, well, I hope there's somebody out there, but not knowing. It's a much more realistic version of an ending. The other one is more of the mythical savior version, which is the guy has to sacrifice himself, she has to come to be the person to deliver it. She has the knowledge that these people are out there. He doesn't know and he has to sacrifice himself to get her out there with them.

Crave Online: I had no problem with that ending until I saw the original one that's so much better.

Francis Lawrence: I mean, it makes them completely different movies.

Crave Online: Did you shoot those endings at the same time?

Francis Lawrence: No, we went back and shot the one that we released theatrically. It was about two days worth of stuff because it really plays the same all the way up to the point the thing smashes on the glass. Then we did the new version of shoving the thing out of the way, getting her in the coal shoot and the grenade. Then the little community bit.

Crave Online: It looks phenomenal on Blu Ray too.

Francis Lawrence: I haven't even seen the Blu Ray version yet. My favorite thing is you do these things and you approve all this artwork and you do the commentary. Then the people at Warner Brothers don't even send me a f*cking copy of the box set. So I have to call up and say, "Guys, can you at least send me a copy of the box set?" I'm very excited to see it on Blu Ray.

Source: http://www.craveonline.com/articles/filmtv...end__kings.html

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  • 4 months later...

I Am Legend Prequel Confirmed

Will Smith will once again return to the role of Robert Neville...

A I Am Legend prequel is in development for release in 2011.

Heres the info:

Director Francis Lawrence has confirmed there will be an I Am Legend prequel that will reveal what happened to Will Smith's character before the zombies took over New York City.

Blog site Shock Til You Drop spoke with Lawrence during his attendance at San Diego Comic-Con about the prequel rumours, and he revealed he would definitely be involved.

"Yes, yes, absolutely, we're actually trying to crack that [the prequel]," he said. "We're trying to figure out some ideas for it, but yes, it would be a prequel."

He apparently also confirmed that Will Smith would definitely be into doing more with the character, and revealed his directorial vision for the prequel.

"In the prequel, it's slightly different because it's earlier [than I Am Legend]. We were three years later so we did a lot of research into the way nature would have sort of overtaken the city, with the cracks in the streets and the weeds, so if it's just back earlier, it'll be slightly different so the approach will be different."

So we will just have to wait and see how it is.

Ozy out.


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