The Omega Man

I Am Legend

Warner Bros has spent the better part of a decade working on getting another I Am Legend off the ground. They’ve tried it all, the “see the origins of the zombie outbreak” prequel, the “screw it, let’s just clone Will Smith and do another one” sequel, everything. There were even zombie elephants involved at one point. But these options required the return of Smith as Robert Neville, and Smith has never been particularly keen on returning to the property (maybe it was the zombie elephants that turned him off). Now, only one option remains: Warners is slamming its fist down on the flashing red “reboot” button, obliterating the old I Am Legend and redoing the film from the ground up. Deadline reports the studio is using A Garden at the End of the World, a spec script from Gary Graham (an Apple Store employee turned screenwriter) as the foundation of a new I Am Legend. Warners was initially developing Garden as a standalone film, but someone along the way realized it bears at least a passing resemblance to Will Smith and plague zombies, so Graham has been tasked with pasting the I Am Legend brand over his old script. The original Garden was supposedly also very similar to The Searchers, only with a vein of sci-fi running throughout.

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Culture Warrior

Warning: this editorial contains spoilers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (and, for that matter, the original Planet of the Apes). Consider yourself warned, you maniacs! The original Planet of the Apes lends itself quite readily to allegory. 1968, the year of the film’s release, was the peak of one of the most tumultuous eras in American social history. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down in April of that year, and Robert F. Kennedy’s death followed a mere two months later. Student resistance and campus demonstrations grew increasingly violent in their opposition to the Vietnam War, the Chicago DNC broke into an all-out war, and racial discord mounted. Of course, none of this had happened yet when Planet of the Apes went into production, but the intersections of intent and circumstance that permit the film to be read so heavily, so variously, and so often in allegorical terms enrich the original film and its sequels with resonance that outlives whatever else may date it. Beyond entertainment value, the Planet of the Apes series has lingered in the popular imagination not because of any strong connection to a specific associative meaning, but because of the many possible allegorical readings it is capable of containing. One of several reasons that Rise of the Planet of the Apes succeeds where previous reincarnations of the series did not is its reclaimed capacity for allegory.

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