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Video: What "I Am Legend" Zombies Almost Looked Like

Posted: April 18th, 2011 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Video: What "I Am Legend" Zombies Almost Looked LikeSubmit Comment
Special effects artist Steve Johnson has been unveiling concept art, costume design and animatronics tests for such movies as Ang Lee's 2003 "Hulk" and Tim Burton's scrapped "Superman Lives."

And now, Johnson has posted a video showing his work on Will Smith's 2007 sci-fi film "I Am Legend." Apparently director Francis Lawrence initially wanted the "infected" zombies to be played by actors. But after a few tests, the helmer realized that he wouldn't be able to get the performances that he's looking for and opted to go entirely CG.

Johnson's video shows what the actors would have looked like in the movie. Check out the effects test and let us know if you would have preferred the zombies to be done this way instead of the CG route.

Video:

If you cannot see the player, click here.


Source: YouTube, STYD


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Displaying 37 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
Evil_Disco writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 5:56:33 AM

That looked like, more or less, a perfect mix of real live and animatronics.
They should´ve gone with this instead.
trailertrash writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 5:58:29 AM

The CGI Zombies were the worst thing about I am Legend, Lawrence f*cked up there IMO

trailertrash writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 6:03:28 AM

Always thought Schwarzengger would have been perfect for Iam Legend ever since i first watched the Omega Man with Charlton Heston.

Maybe if they do make a sequel the big man could be in involved, Has to be better than the governator sh*t.
Taco writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 6:24:32 AM

WAY better than the cgi sh*t they used. There was nothing that actors couldn't have done in that movie.
yeLLowfLaSh writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 6:30:21 AM

You mean the VAMPIRES in I Am Legend because they weren't zombies.

Facts in Evidence:

They were attracted to blood, sunlight burned them, they had accelerated healing and they had heightened strength. They were vampires not zombies. geez.
Cinemaisdead writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 6:52:46 AM

Looks like The Master out of Buffy.
JUST SMILE AND BLOW ME! writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 7:37:04 AM

"Excellent, I love it, that's great! Now try it with the mask on..."
trailertrash writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 8:07:49 AM

yeLLowfLaSh- Zombies, Vampire does it really matter, they looked sh*t what ever they were
Johnnyb writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 8:24:50 AM

It´s really important to mention that you can´t always compare the reality of an actor performance than CGI.... Never!!!!!
AYT BALL writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 8:50:46 AM

Should have gone with these!! The CG sh*tty ones in they used totally ruined that movie.
TeemSelami writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 10:39:02 AM

WAAAAAYYYY better than what we got!
batdump writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 10:52:51 AM

seems like Steve Johnson has done a lot of things for movies, just to be replaced with CGI anyway. at least he's getting paid for his work (hopefully)
BadChadB33 writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 11:07:26 AM

This cgi things sucked donkey d*ck.
trailertrash writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 11:33:05 AM

I will take the Plastic looking Bruce the Shark from Jaws over the CGI Sharks from Deep Blue Sea any day of the week.

I know they can do some amazing things with all the technolgy of today, but i still like the old school ways of doing things like they did in the Thing, American werewolf in London or the Howling.

All good films and the effects still look pretty good even today and a lot scarier i might add.
rabid writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 11:42:25 AM

@ trailertrash
Actually Arnold would make a great governor of the colony... if Will Smith ever makes it there.
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 12:16:31 PM

Amazing. Zombires.
rabid writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 12:30:10 PM

I'm fine with calling them zombies. When Matheson wrote the novel he was envisioning vampires, but he accidentally created the first popular zombie story. Romero's stuff would never have happened if Vincent Price hadn't fought off the lumbering dead in the original film version of I Am Legend.

I like these practical fx much better, and much of the new film's cg looked unpolished, but i still think they went the right route considering the actions the script had the zombies performing.
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 1:03:47 PM

Wikipedia, and Matheson, specifically state, repeatedly, that they're vampires, even though they don't resemble Bram Stoker's rendition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Living_Dead

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Legend_(book)

"I Am Legend is the product of an anxious artistic mind working in an anxious cultural climate. However, it is also a playful take on an old archetype, the vampire (the reader is even treated to Neville’s reading and put-down of Bram Stoker’s Dracula). Matheson goes to great lengths to rationalize or naturalize the vampire myth, transplanting the monster from the otherworldly realms of folklore and Victorian supernaturalism to the test tube of medical inquiry and rational causation. With I Am Legend, Matheson instituted the germ theory of vampirism, a take on the old archetype which has since been tackled by other writers (notably, Dan Simmons in Children of the Night from 1992)."

And Matheson apparently ripped of Shelley's The Last Man.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Man

I guess it's true. Amateurs create, professionals steal.
rabid writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 1:47:20 PM

Matheson had a completely original concept that wasn't really expressed until the final lines of the novel. Without that, the title, the story, it's nothing. It's what the will smith version was missing.
Cd_Smith0 writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 2:35:38 PM

I agree with you rabid....every thing about Will Smith's version was great except it totally missed the point of the ending in the book....I think the alternate ending came closure to the books but still missed the mark.
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 2:56:42 PM

Dean Koontz called I am Legend "the most clever and riveting vampire novel since dracula". FWIW.
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 3:04:58 PM

(Here Neville is being held prisoner by the new people, and he looks at them, down on them through his jail bars. rith has just left him with a means to committ suicide)

He looked out over the people, his left hand gripping the bars with bloodless fingers, his eyes fever-lit.

Then someone saw him.

For a moment there was an increased babbling of voices, a few startled cries.

Then sudden silence, as though a heavy blanket had fallen over their heads. They all stood looking up at him with their white faces. He stared back. And suddenly he thought, I’m the abnormal one now. Normalcy was a majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just one man.

Abruptly that realization joined with what he saw on their faces—awe, fear, shrinking horror—and he knew that they were afraid of him. To them he was some terrible scourge they had never seen, a scourge even worse than the disease they had come to live with.

He was an invisible specter who had left for
evidence of his existence the bloodless bodies of their loved ones.

And he understood what they felt and did not hate them. His right hand tightened on the tiny envelope of pills. So long as the end did not come with violence, so long as it did not have to be a butchery before their eyes.

Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he did not belong to them; he knew that, like the vampires, he was anathema and black terror to be destroyed. And, abruptly, the concept came, amusing to him even in his pain.

A coughing chuckle filled his throat. He turned and leaned against the wall while he swallowed the pills.

Full circle, he thought while the final lethargy crept into his limbs. Full circle. A new terror born in death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever.

I am legend.
rabid writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 3:06:14 PM

They're called vampires in the novel. But everytime they make it to film, studios zombify them. The first effort with Vincent Price was The Last Man on Earth. It was the first time anyone had filmed lumbering hordes of undead. Of course they weren't all that menacing in that version. They just stumbled around and moaned... but I guess that was part of the tale. It takes a while for the virus to evolve them back to the land of the living.
I just hate that the films always miss the point... that the creatures are no more destructive or monstrous than human beings... that in their realm, humans are the bogeyman.
For that reason alone, I'd like to see a sequel where Will Smith makes it to the colony.
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 3:29:26 PM

I'd like to see a modern version without Will Smith, one that's faithful to the book's premise and message.

Yeah, right.
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 3:38:35 PM

Look what they did the 'The Box'.

God help us if they ever do The Incredible Shrinking Man, although the film adaptation of Bid Time Return was done well with Christopher Reeve and the ever-delectable Jane Seymour, and I also thought the Twilight Zone segment with John Lithgow wasn't too bad. Good actually.

Also, both the story Stir of Echoes and the film was very well done, and I thought Bacon did a smashup job. finally, his work on Kolchal, the predecessor to the X-Files was average, nothing worth banging a drum.

Can't recall Hell House and I'm not sure I ever read it.

Finally, Hugh Jackman's 'Real Steel' is based on Matheson's Twilight Zone ep 'Steel':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel_(The_Twilight_Zone)
trailertrash writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 4:00:16 PM

Man i had to turn that movie the Box off, What a bore that was.

I really enjoyed the old Vincent Price version also The Last Man On Earth for it's time it was very well done IMO

And Jane Seymour in Somewhere in time (and anything she was in), Yes sir she was a mighty fine lady (still is)
trailertrash writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 4:07:25 PM

Rabid-

I liked the ending when Smith character dies. I saw the other ending on the dvd where he lived, for me i just didn't think it worked as well not the same impact to the ending.

But if he had of made it, Arnold as Governor yeah why the hell not.
rabid writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 4:34:05 PM

It definitely works better that way for that particular vision of the film. But in the original novel, the character is sentenced to be executed for the murders he has committed against the vampires. They see him as the mythical murdering beast.
In the latest remake there were signs of intelligence among the vamps, but in the novel a way is found to subside the violent phase of the metamorphosis. They punish Neville for his impatience, since all those he killed would have eventually had their minds returned and been productive members of their new society.
In the book, they view Neville as a caveman. In the movie, they view him as lunch.
Either way, when the story is done, he's made irrelevant.
funseeker writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 4:44:37 PM

@minkovski ... i support you that they are vampires, but it's funny that matheson had to say what they were, i mean, in the book they are identified as vampires, so i guess it had to be said for people who like to discuss books based on cover not on reading them.

and to be on topic for once ... i prefer non cgi version (for at least a decade or two more).

and funny thing on i am legend, the meaning of the title is a realization of the main character, at the end he finds that he is the monster, not the vampires, that they scare children with tales of him, therefor he is a legend, a boogeyman. as a classic sf fan i am sooo disappointed by will smith and his sf abominations (i robot also has a more meaningful story and a pun in the end). i hope he will stay away from ruining any more classics for me!
BK-201 writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 4:48:27 PM

albino flava flaaaav! yeee boi!
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 4:53:24 PM

CGI is the way of the future, way of the future, way of the future, blueprints, blueprints....

Anyway, in ten years, you won't be able to tell the difference between CG and reality no matter how hard you look.

"It definitely works better that way for that particular vision of the film"

Of course, just like a shower room shank works well for the version of the man taking a shower, but would be entirely unlikely if the man in question was an aristocrat, and the way I see it, Will Smith's version of the story is inferior, more superficial and far less developed than Matheson's story.

In short, it's more crude. And a crude ending befits a crude film, although had they tried to do something more than marginal with the ending, the film would be far better regarded as something more than an a assembly-line churned action-horror vehicle for Will Smith.
John1017 writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 4:58:46 PM

looks great, change the teeth and make them look more carnivorous and you would have a really scary monster.
minkowski writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 5:00:46 PM

Yeah. Amy Winehouse.
trailertrash writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 5:14:41 PM

Amy Winehouse in her spare time plays the banjo and Makes Ned Beatty squeal like a pig !!
rabid writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 7:57:33 PM

I wouldn't call it inferior to the book. It's just a different story with a different moral. Every film version of the book does their own thing, and they've all been awesome. Last Man on Earth, Omega Man, and I am Legend are all great films, but if nobody told you, you'd never guess that they're all based on the same source.
Maybe that's a good thing. I'm certainly glad to own them all and rewatch them from time to time.
BigUnit writes:
on April 18th, 2011 at 8:39:05 PM

i beleive they already made this movie. it was called PANDORUM.
minkowski writes:
on April 19th, 2011 at 12:36:44 AM

Pandorum was actually somewhat good; I Am Legend...not so much.

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