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It turns out that Warner Bros has Apple to thank for the fact that their long-touted addition to the I Am Legend franchise has now been greenlit - at least in a vague indirect way. That's because Gary Graham, who has written the screenplay for the upcoming last-man-on-earth reboot, was working at one of the company’s store when he wrote and then uploaded his script to the Black List website, probably using one of those very same Apple products.
Because Will Smith isn’t fond of doing sequels, Warner Bros. has struggled for years in their pursuit to get I Am Legend back onto the big screen. Where they eventually found the solution was in the shape of A Garden At The End Of The World - Gary Graham's aforementioned screenplay. The studio bought the script back in April, even though just weeks before the writer had been working as an Apple salesman. Now the studio has retrofitted the screenplay to fit into the I Am Legend franchise.
Brooklyn Weaver, who works at CAA, was the first to recognize how impressive Graham’s original screenplay was, and he immediately snapped him up after the script had been found it on the Black List website. The agency started sending it out to studios, and several immediately became interested. Numerous bids were tabled to bring it to the big-screen, but Warner Bros. eventually won out. According to Deadline, the project is described as a sci-fi version of John Wayne’s seminal western, The Searchers. It was only once Graham had been brought in to do some re-writes that Warner began to notice just how similar the script and I Am Legend's themes and mythology were, and, once they’d run it by the original’s producers, they asked the up-and-coning screenwriter to mold his work into that post-apocalyptic world.
Warner Bros. have been peddling the idea to bring I Am Legend back to the big screen ever since the original grossed close to $600 million during Christmas 2007. Director Francis Lawrence proposed a prequel in 2008 when he declared that he wanted to examine what happened to Neville before the infection took over New York, and Will Smith has gone on the record saying that he would like to follow Neville and his team trekking to Washington DC and back again. But by 2011, Lawrence had revealed that the prequel idea was pretty much dead in the water, and when Warner Bros. announced the following year that deals were in place to create another installment, they insisted that Smith would reprise the role. It's hard to say if that will actually happen, though, and in the meantime they’ve hired a novice screenwriter to reboot the franchise. Risky? A little bit. But the excitement generated by Graham’s script suggests that they’ve got a real corker on their hand.