Will Smith Is 'Legend'
The Fresh Prince may battle mutants for Warner Bros.
As has long been rumored, Francis Lawrence ("Constantine") is the studio's choice to direct, while Variety reports that Smith has a pay-or-play deal on the project, which may add some urgency to a vehicle that has been shelved and reshelved more often than a new Tom Clancy thriller at a small town library.
Richard Matheson's novel has hardly lacked for adaptations in the past, becoming both "The Last Man on Earth" and, more famously, Charlton Heston's "The Omega Man." The story follows the planet's last healthy man, the survivor of a virus outbreak that transforms many people into hilariously nasty mutants.
For years, Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to star for director Ridley Scott. After that duo fell through, Smith became involved along with director Michael Bay. But that was back in 2002 and the subsequent years have been filled with rumored revivals. The latest version of the script was written by Akiva Goldsman ("Batman & Robin") and Mark Protosevich.
Smith is going to have a wacky time trying to fit "Legend" into his schedule. The actor has completed work on "Pursuit of Happyness" and he's next expected to segue into the unfortunately titled "Tonight, He Comes."
In theory, "I Am Legend" would follow "Tonight," possibly shooting in early 2007. However, in recent weeks Smith has also been linked to "Greenbacks" at Fox, "It Takes a Thief" for Universal and the Columbia property "Time Share."