I Am Legend screenplay by Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman. The film is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. Robert Neville (Will Smith), a brilliant scientist, is a survivor of a man-made virus. The story takes place in New York City after a virus has wiped out most of mankind, leaving Neville as the only human in New York City. The film starts out with an interview with Dr. Alice Krippin who has genetically engineered a virus from the Measles virus as a viral cure for cancer. However, the virus which she had created would turn out to be the main cause of the outbreak and chaos, as it transformed humans into bloodthirsty mutant like beings. Samantha, also known as Sam, was Neville’s German shepherd companion and his only best friend. Neville and Sam, who are both immune to the virus, would wonder the streets of New York City, for other possible survivors, searching for food, battling all the infected beings affected by the virus, and at the same time trying to find a cure for the virus.
The director wanted his/her audience to learn that where there is life there is hope. As long as someone or something is still living or alive there is hope for life and recovery. Although at times Neville would question his faith and begin to lose hope, somewhere deep within him he still held on to that little bit of hope. Having this hope was a huge driving force for Neville making it easier to want to live. All he had was himself. He worked hard in order to keep himself alive. His will to live is often almost non-existent but nonetheless he gets up early and does his daily rounds, such as working out Sam, preparing a healthy breakfast, even going to the music store daily and having conversations with the mannequins. He knows that it would be so easy to just give up but he doesn’t. Despite the hardships, Neville was still able to hold on to that piece of hope. He hoped that there might be someone else like him who survived. He hoped that he can find the cure to this virus.
One thing that I really enjoyed while watching this film was the positive religious references to Christianity and belief in God. There are very few films that present religion in a positive manner, and this was one of those films. This film asked the question, does God still love us? The answer was, absolutely. There were several posters throughout the background of the film, which were placed on the empty and abandoned buildings and walls reading, God Still Loves Us. Neville’s flashback of him being departed from his this wife and daughter, as they are getting ready to be uplifted by a helicopter, was followed by a paused prayer by his wife asking for God to watch over them. Although Neville was a man starting to lose his faith and hope, he gets rescued by women who states that God told her to come and this was no coincidence. At the end of the film Neville discovers the cure and hands it Anna, saying this is why you are here. This again references to God sending her to him for a reason and not coincidence.
The film I Am Legend and the novel The Road, both present one man’s story of struggle for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Both plots involve the main characters as one of the few people left in this world that would do anything to protect their companions. They both have a companion in which they have a deep connection with and draw their strengths from one another. Neville’s companion being is his German shepherd and the father’s companion being the son. They are both prepared to take whatever action necessary to ensure their well being and survival, even if it means taking their own companions life. Neville had to kill his dog once he got infected with the virus. The father was prepared to shot his son before he can be tortured by the highway men. The survivors look for food and water, occasionally battle it out with non beings that are trying to kill, hurt, or eat them. They both endured their own set of struggles for survival but through it all it was hope and love that kept them alive for so long.