Good book, bad film? Day #2

I Am Legend: the book (a 1954 horror novel by Richard Matheson)

Trailblazing in its day, this book introduced the concept of human extinction by zombie-like disease (and inspired Romero’s cult classic Night of the Living Dead). (Spoiler alert) Robert Neville’s the last human on earth. Captured by the zombies/vampires who’ve taken over the world, he realises they’re in fact sentient, intelligent beings. He’s the monster with morals that don’t apply anymore: a relic of a bygone age who must die so society can move forward. The book ends with his affecting last words: ‘[I am] a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.’

I Am Legend: the film (a 2007 Will Smith-vehicle)

Robert Neville is the last man on earth. He races around in a sports car, chased by feral vampires. Hang on – he’s not the last man on earth. He finds a cure for the disease and randomly sacrifices himself, becoming (you’ve guessed it) legend. Or not.

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