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End-of-the-World Movie Facts: "I Am Legend"

By Yona Williams    4/24/08

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Perhaps the end of the world is near because a scientific experiment has gone awry or mutations are taking place within the human population that scientists have no answer for. Anyhow – these films are pretty interesting and entertaining. Most recently, "I Am Legend" – starring Will Smith was a highly anticipated movie that touches upon a scientist's struggle to reverse the damage of a destructive virus.

"I Am Legend"

Plot

An outbreak of a deadly virus is unleashed in 2009 and after the panic dust settles – we find Will Smith in 2012 – a virologist for the United States. But, at this time - it is only he and his faithful four-legged companion left in New York City. After some time – we are not sure if he is the only human left on earth, but we learn that the Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville is still working towards discovering a cure for the disease that has wiped out the population of what he believes to be the entire earth.
 
Roaming the grounds now are "monsters" that Smith must avoid, as they are only able to come out when the sun sets. Using his own blood – which is immune to the virus – Smith is on a mission to reverse the virus. Before they movie becomes Smith against mutated humans – we see his own daughter (Willow) play his daughter in the movie and Salli Richardson as the role of his wife.

Facts About "I Am Legend"

1) When the scenes for the movie that involved the Brooklyn Bridge were shot – there were more than 1,000 extras called in for the production. An assortment of military vehicle and other aircraft also took part in this scene.

2) The majority of the film was shot in Washington Square Park (in New York City) between the fall and winter season of 2006/2007. Over a period of three months – holiday decorations were constantly being taken down and later replaced as a result.

3) The cost for shooting the Brooklyn Bridge scene, which took six nights to complete: an estimated  $5,000,000. In order to film at this location, it took the A-OK from up to 14 government agencies to allow the producers to proceed. In the end – a crew of 250 (not including the 1,000 extras) were used. It is said that 160 members of the National Guard also took part in this scene. They were wearing full combat gear.

4) In the beginning, Warner Brothers believed that filming in New York was too high of a cost and that too many challenges for crew and others involved would arise.

5) Will Smith's buddy in real life – Tom Cruise – was considered for the role of Robert Neville. Ted Levine was also a consideration. When the movie was a dream back in 1998 – Nicolas Cage was the first person on director Rob Bowman's mind. At the time, he was slated to direct the movie, but instead – signed on with "The X Files" in 1998.

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