Concept Art Surfaces for Ridley Scott's Unmade I AM LEGEND Film Project


About ten year before Will Smith’s vampire film I Am Legend was released in theaters in 2007, Ridley Scott was developing his own version of the film that was supposed to star Arnold Schwarzenegger. The project ended up not happening, and now all these later makeup artist Alec Gillis is showing off the makeup tests he created in 1997 to bring the story to life. The art came with the following note:

Ridley Scott’s version of I AM LEGEND was to have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and featured ‘hemocytes’ realized as makeup characters. I think we did our design exploratory in about 1997 ( is that right @h2originals ?) Ridley was influenced by wax figures from the 17th century. We did a test on a single female subject to show her in a few stages of emaciation. The appliance pieces were sculpted by @ryankennethpeterson and Steve Koch and applied by @Tom_woodruffjr, myself and Barry Koper. Shortly after we shot the test at ADI Warner’s decided not to make the movie. The budget was coming in 10 mil higher than desired. It all got shelved until the Francis Lawrence/ Will Smith version years later. We did get an interview on that version but there was next to no interest in makeup fx. Contribbing sculptors were @schellsculpturestudio and Jeff Boccaccio. Tech work helmed by @h2originals. Paint by Mike Larrabee.

I would have much rather seen Ridley Scott’s take on this story! It’s a shame that he didn’t get to realize his vision for it. These designs are so much better than the CG animated crap that we got in the 2007 film.

I Am Legend is based on the classic 1954 sci-fi horror novel written by Richard Matheson. It was originally adapted into a film in 1964 which starred Vincent Price and is a great movie! Here’s the description of the story from the book:

Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone.

An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.

By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn....

Would you have liked to see Ridley Scott’s version of this film over Will Smith’s?

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