I Am Legend (2007) Poster



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  • After a man-made plague transforms Manhattan's population (and possibly that of the whole world) into bloodthirsty mutants, military scientist Doctor Robert Neville (Will Smith), immune to both the airborne strains and contact strains of the virus, struggles to find a cure and to locate any other survivors that may exist. Edit

  • The novel I Am Legend (1954), written by American author Richard Matheson, was adapted for the movie by screenwriters Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich. This version of I Am Legend is the third movie adaptation of Matheson's novel. The two earlier films are The Last Man on Earth (1964) and The Omega Man (1971). The 2007 film was partially based on the 1971 film as well as the original source novel. Another adaptation, I Am Omega (2007), was released direct to DVD. Edit

  • The title is a reference to Robert Neville's favorite album, "Legend" by Bob Marley. Neville describes Marley's desire to cure racism and hate with music and love, and he emulates Marley's desire with his desire to find a cure for the Krippin Virus.

    In the novel, Neville is the last man on Earth; everyone else is a vampire. At the end of the story, he realizes that, as the only human left in a world of vampires, he is now the monster. He stalks the earth during the day and kills the vampires as they sleep. This has made him a mythical figure much like the vampires themselves once were. He is now a legend, hence the title I Am Legend. You could argue that, since Neville is the one who sacrificed his life in order to save the remainder of mankind, he will be a legend among the survivors, but that was not Matheson's intent when he named the novel. Edit

  • Dr. Alice Krippin (Emma Thompson) created a cure for cancer by manipulating a measles virus so that it would only attack cancerous cells. Unfortunately, the virus (called the Krippin Virus, or KV) soon mutated, becoming communicable through the air and deadly to humans. It killed the vast majority of the population (90%). In everyone else, except for the 1% of the population who were immune, it caused a mutation which is characterized by extreme aggression and strength, a heightened sense of smell, loss of pigmentation, shallow and rapid respiration, hyper-metabolism, and hyper-sensitivity to light. Mutants are also attracted to the smell of blood and are carnivorous. The human mutants are referred to as "Dark Seekers" since they cannot live in the light. Edit

  • The outdoor scenes were filmed almost entirely in New York City. Scenes set in Greenwich Village, the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, St. Patrick's Cathedral, TriBeCa, and on the USS Intrepid and the Brooklyn Bridge, were all filmed on location. Streets were blocked off for long periods of time and weeds were imported from Florida and spread around the streets to show the overgrowth. Pedestrians, moving cars and persons visible through windows were all digitally removed from the final film. Edit

  • It's a 2007 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500. Edit

  • New York City has three major zoos: (1) Central Park Zoo, (2) Prospect Park Zoo, and (3) Bronx Zoo. The deer and lions could have come from one of them. Upstate New York also has lots of deer. Considering that deer can swim and that the George Washington Bridge is still intact, it's possible that they migrated into the city. Edit

  • It's either vinegar or ammonia, which he uses to block his scent so that the Dark Seekers can't track him down. Edit

  • A panoramic shot of the interior of Neville's dwelling shows several gas-fueled generators. He presumably uses these for electric power. For water, he may have a roof top water tank. Tanks like this are still in use in New York today to supplement water pressure. Normally they are fed from the municipal water system by pumping water to the roof top tank and letting gravity build the pressure for the building. In Neville's case, the tank may be a later addition that is fed by a rainwater collection system of some kind. Whenever Neville turns on the water you can hear a pump start. Edit

  • This appears to be a continuity goof. Otherwise, he had woken up some time near dawn and opened them. (The second time we see Neville wake up, he opens the shutters.) He appears to hide in the bathtub with the gun unable to sleep and presumably gets up at dawn, opening the shutters, letting in the light that he feels protects him and then can finally sleep. You will also notice he doesn't do anything at night that could make noise and let the dark dwellers know where he is such as exercising or using electricity. It is also possible Neville has a timer on the shutters to open at a certain time after dawn to allow light in to wake him up and to protect him. Edit

  • It is a Tower Records/Video. However, this creates something of a plot hole in that the events that lead up to the city being deserted happen in 2009, and Tower Records liquidated all of their stores in 2006—as such no place that previously housed a Tower store would still have products by 2009, when there were still some residents. While the crew obviously went through great lengths not to ever show the name "Tower", the font on signage, hours on the door, behind the counter,etc. are all dead giveaways to anyone who ever visited or worked in one of their stores on a regular basis. Edit

  • Without city-wide electricity to run refrigerators, fresh meat is in short supply. In one scene, Neville feeds the dog vegetables in tomato sauce. Canned foods, dried food, preserves etc. would last for many years, but meat would rot fairly quickly. Neville has generators set up around his house (visible in some wide shots), which allow him to power his own equipment, including the fridge in his kitchen.

    It could also be interpreted that Neville hunts the deer in order to study their implied immunity to the virus. They run around in the day, an infected specimen is never shown on screen, the deer population is seemingly unaffected by the airborne strain of the virus, and if the virus were to be introduced to the species it'd likely spread quickly throughout the population. Edit

  • There are two possibilities. One, they sleep standing up while huddling. Two, they are eating the body of the deer whose head can be seen in the hallway. Edit

  • Initially, they may have feasted on the humans trapped on the island. Following that, they might have turned to eating the bodies of the dead, which would explain why there were no bodies lying in the streets. They probably had the smarts and agility to trap or bring down other animals on the island, such as the herds of deer occasionally seen jumping between the parked cars or the birds seen flying between buildings or even stray dogs and cats. They may have done what Neville was doing—scavenged from abandoned houses and stores. Finally, they may have organized themselves into small groups and killed and ate Dark Seekers from rival hives. It's also possible that they don't actually need to eat but do so out of instinct of their previous lives, much like zombies in most post-apocalyptic films. Edit

  • Two possible reasons: (1) Neville's main goal was to cure them. He had spent the last three years searching for a cure. If he kills the Dark Seekers, the human race will be extinct when he dies, and (2) with no fire department to put out a major blaze in New York, the entire city could eventually burn to the ground. Edit

  • The infected, or "Dark Seekers", were entirely computer-generated, although part of the time their motion was controlled by actors, using "motion capture" technology. Edit

  • He is in the Temple Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Edit

  • In one of the empty homes Neville enters, there is a newspaper clipping that says infected dogs are able to come out at dusk (though they can't pass through a stream of direct sunlight). Edit

  • The eye scanner can detect dilation of the pupils. Those infected with the virus have pupils that are open to their widest point. The reason why the scanner first detected Zoe (Neville's wife)'s pupils as dilated could be because: (1) the scanner malfunctioned, or (2) her pupils were dilated due to an adrenaline rush, something that could easily have happened to Zoe when she was being evacuated. Edit

  • Neville had set up a mannequin on the end of the pier where he spent every afternoon hoping to meet another living person. The Dark Seekers think it is Neville and rush over to it, not knowing that Neville is sitting in his truck waiting to shine his UV lights on them and then run them over with his Ford Expedition. Edit

  • In the original ending of the movie, it was shown that all the bridges were destroyed except for the George Washington Bridge (GWB). Patrols were stationed on that bridge to control access on and off the island, and a sign was posted with a WARNING that Manhattan was a restricted area and that it was unlawful to enter without permission of the Installation commander. When the ending was changed for theatrical and DVD release, that scene was cut from the movie, leaving no explanation as to how Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan) could have gotten on and off the island. Alternatively, and since Anna would not necessarily have known that the GWB was still intact (no mention of it is made in Neville's recorded radio broadcasts, and she came from Maryland), she took a boat across the Hudson River with Ethan and their stuff and scavenged the SUV when she got to the Manhattan shore. She may or may not have repeated the same process when she left Manhattan for the Bronx or Long Island or whatever route she took north to Vermont if either she was still unaware that the GWB was intact or if it was effectively impassible. Edit

  • She uses a phosphorous flare. The lights on top of Neville's car are most likely ultraviolet lights, which kept the infected from attacking his car until he flipped it and smashed the lights. Edit

  • Anna does say that that the virus cannot survive in the cold, which is the reason that the survivors compound was established in Vermont. It is implied that the cold inhibits the airborne virus but does not inhibit the infected, i.e. Neville uses ice to lower the temperature of the infected he is treating because it helps the antidote to take effect. Yet the matter is unclear. The epidemic seems to have begun in the lead up to the Christmas season, and Neville has been alone for three years or four winters. It must be remembered, however, that some cold-sensitive viruses only have survival problems when they are outside of a host, such as on doorknobs, toilet seats, or dust particles in the air. Once inside of a warm body, the virus is in a perfect 98° to 99° Fahrenheit environment, and the cold will not affect it, so it remains viable and able to be spread on contact. Edit

  • It is common for children who have been through extreme trauma to give up speaking. A deleted scene from the movie (on the alternate ending cut DVD), Neville, Anna, and Ethan go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ethan jumps into the fish pool. He then says "it's cold" when Neville throws in bait and the fish begin frenzying around him. The DVD's special features reveal that the child actor has a very thick New York accent that some audiences would find hard to understand. That may be the real reason the character is given no dialogue. The graphic novel "Losing Voice: Ethan's story", explains Ethan's silence thus: During the first stages of the outbreak of the Krippin Virus, Ethan is shown being driven to school by his parents. When his school bus passes him, Ethan notices that the driver's eyes are bleeding, a sign that he is infected with KV. After sundown, Ethan sees other families fleeing the streets outside the car. His father leaves the car to investigate, armed with a golf club. Suddenly, a mob of Darkseekers appear, dragging his mother out and tearing her to shreds. They then throw the bloody, beaten father across the car's hood as he begs his children with his dying breaths to escape. Ethan and his brother climb out of the car's windows and run, chased by the Darkseekeers. They try to hide under a deserted truck, but a Darkseeker drags Ethan's brother away. Ethan escapes and hides in the foliage. He is eventually found by a rescue team, who take him to safety aboard their helicopter. The team tries to question him but, left grief-stricken and catatonic by his brother's death, Ethan does not answer. Edit

  • "Legend" by Bob Marley. "Legend" is not an actual studio album but a compilation released by Island Records in 1984, three years after Marley's death. Edit

  • There are several explanations as to why a hand grenade could have caused a major explosion. One is that Neville used an incendiary grenade. Another is that the explosion was amplified in the confined space. A third is that he kept other volatile and flammable chemicals down there. Edit

  • No, this is a common misunderstanding. At the very end of the theatrical version, Anna says, "At approximately 8:49 p.m., Robert Neville discovered the cure. At 8:52, he gave his life to defend it." With Anna's accent it has been misheard as "at 'age' 52, he gave his life to defend it." In the original novel his age is given as 36. Edit

  • Near the end of the movie, both original and alternate, Neville locks himself, Anna, and Ethan in the Plexiglas cubicle that contains the Dark Seeker female, but the alpha Dark Seeker continues to throw himself against the glass. Neville notices that the compound that he injected into the female several days earlier is beginning to work. Here is where the endings begin to differ. In the original ending (which has become known as the alternate ending and is available on an extra disk in some DVDs), Neville puts down his gun, detaches the alpha female from her IV, and instructs Anna to open the Plexiglas door. Then Neville wheels the female outside to the waiting Dark Seekers, who have stopped their attack. Neville gets a syringe and withdraws some of her blood. The female wakes up and is embraced by the alpha male, who carries her out of the lab. The next day, Anna, Ethan, and Neville leave Manhattan, headed for the survivors' colony. Anna has left behind a radio broadcast that assures anyone listening that they are not alone. The original ending was shown to a test audience who apparently did not like it for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it changed the ending of Richard Matheson's novel. A new ending was filmed in which Neville does not exit the Plexiglas room. Rather, he draws up a syringeful of the female mutant's blood and gives it to Anna with instructions that she get it to the survivors' colony so that the antidote compound can be extracted from the blood and made into a cure. Then he seals Anna and Ethan in a crawlspace. Pulling the pin on an incendiary grenade, Neville blows up the lab, himself, and the Dark Seekers. The next day, Anna and Ethan leave Manhattan and drive to the survivors' colony in Vermont. The survivors welcome them, and Anna hands them the antidote. Edit

  • Butterflies show up in a number of places in the movie. The first butterfly is when Neville's daughter Marley forms one with her hands as the family drives to the helicopter to get out of Manhattan. She says something like "Look, Daddy, it's a butterfly." A bit later, Sam is chasing a butterfly in the field where Neville is picking corn, and Neville drives by a faded sign that features a butterfly and the logo: God still loves you. Towards the end of the movie, some people see a butterfly shape in the cracked Plexiglas when the Alpha male keeps butting his head against it and/or a butterfly smeared on the Plexiglas with the Alpha male's blood. Neville then looks at Anna's neck and sees a butterfly tattooed on it, remembers Marley's words, and decides that it's a sign from God. In the original ending, there was a butterfly on the Alpha female, and people have interpreted the butterfly on the Plexiglas as a sign that the Alpha male is smearing a butterfly on the glass in order to tell Neville that he wants the Alpha female with the butterfly tattoo. Edit

  • The USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, and the aircraft aboard it, are decommissioned vessels that comprise the Intrepid Air and Sea Museum, at Pier 86 in New York City. The aircraft had been placed aboard the carrier. The plane is, however, not an SR-71, but its similar looking predecessor A-12. See: Google Earth at location 40°46′N, 74°00′W. Edit

  • Neville appears to have a "natural" immunity. Natural immunities are genetically-based and cannot be passed to other people, with the exception of newborn infants whose mothers have conferred upon them short-term immunities through the placenta or breast-milk. In the case of the alpha female, she appears to have been developing an "acquired" immunity. Acquired immunities are developed after an individual has been infected with a virus or other pathogen. The compound that Neville injected into her appears to have stimulated her body's immune system to produce antibodies against the virus. It's these antibodies found in the blood that can be used to confer immunity on others. Neville's blood doesn't contain those antibodies because he never got the disease in the first place nor does he have the compound in his blood because he never injected himself with it. Edit

  • "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley. This is also the song Neville sings in the lab as he holds Sam and notices that she's mutating. Edit

  • In the film, both Anna and Neville refer to the creatures as "Dark Seekers". However, on the DVD, the subtitle track uses the term "hemocyte" to describe the Dark Seekers. Both names are correct. This is also because in prior attempts at developing the movie, Hemocytes was the term originally used to refer to what later became Dark Seekers. Edit

  • The story is, indeed, set in 2012. But flashbacks show that the virus became airborne and epidemic in 2009. As the outbreak spread around the world, immediately killing off 90% of the world's population, there were few people left anywhere to make or buy cars. Whatever cars were left in Manhattan after the island was sealed in 2009 would have been from the current year or earlier. Edit

  • In Matheson's book, the disease is caused by a bacterium and not a virus. It starts off like a flu epidemic and is carried on the dusty winds. The protagonist discovers this on his own after a lot of experiment and study. The symptoms of the disease resemble the qualities associated with vampires: the desire to suck blood, the hatred of garlic and mirrors, etc. In the movie, the disease is a genetically-engineered virus that mutates and causes the disorder. The victims are less like vampires and more like cannibalistic zombies. Edit

  • Neville is described at the beginning of Matheson's story as "a tall man, thirty-six, born of English-German stock, his features undistinguished except for the long, determined mouth and the bright blue of his eyes..." It's safe to say he was Caucasian in the original story. In the first two movie adaptations and the graphic novel adaptation, he is Caucasian. Edit

  • "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley. Edit

  • In Matheson's novel, there are two different kinds of vampires: (1) the reanimated vampires that had died yet somehow came back to life, and (2) vampires that are still living. The vampires that are dead were people who had contracted the virus and died from being unable to breathe. Neville's wife had become one of these because Neville had buried her instead of cremating her body. In the book, the dead vampires are animalistic, but they are intelligent enough to taunt Neville in various ways, e.g. the female vampires will lift their skirts and pose lewdly (the theme of Neville having to constantly fight to control his erotic impulses recurs several times in the book). Some of them will turn into ash when Neville stakes them because their corpses are so old. In the film, The Dark Seekers appear to lose their intelligence after contracting the virus. The living vampires are people who had contracted the virus, but did not die. Neville kills these by driving a stake through their hearts. He does not realize they are still alive or that there are two different kinds of vampires. The living vampires are the ones that hunt Neville down and try to execute him (they hunt and kill the dead vampires as well). Both kinds of vampires in the book share many traits with traditional vampires. They are repelled by garlic, have psychological aversions to religious symbols and mirrors, etc. In the film, the only vampire-like trait is that the Dark Seekers die when exposed to sunlight and are attracted to blood. Edit

  • The trailer has a scene in which Neville is surrounded by the Dark Seekers. The scene had been part of an ending in which Neville releases the Alpha Female, followed by the Alpha Male leaving him in peace. Neville, Anna and Ethan then go off to Vermont. The filmmakers scrapped this ending after testing it with a focus group. A lovemaking scene between Neville and Anna was removed. This scene may have occurred right after the Bob Marley scene (after Ethan had been put to bed). Another shot that was deleted was an aerial shot of Greenwich Village after Neville detonates his car bombs, and a scene showing Neville driving his Mustang through a storefront was removed.

    The DVD has: the alternate ending; a scene with Anna, Ethan, and Neville investigating the "Fred" trap; and a scene where Ethan is swimming in a pond as Neville and Anna watch. Also on the DVD in the "making of" interviews, the cast mention scenes where the three survivors are walking around St Peter's Cathedral and another scene where Robert tries to gain Ethan's trust and friendship by joking around with him trying on silly hats in a department store (a still is shown of this). Another scene hinted at is Anna and Ethan playing in a swimming pool fully-clothed while Robert watches. Alice Braga (Anna) also mentions a backstory about why Anna is with Ethan and how they met and how they came to be together in more detail. The DVD commentary also mentions a scene at the start of the film in which Neville "steals" the red Mustang from a showroom and crashes it through the dealership's window. Edit

  • Francis Lawrence said in an interview that he cut out an hour. He said most of it dealt with the Dark Seekers. Edit

  • Yes. The first adaptation (The Last Man on Earth) of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel, I Am Legend, has fallen out of copyright and now appears on a number of websites devoted to public domain movies. The film can be downloaded from Archive.org here or so. Edit

  • Besides I Am Legend, The Omega Man (1971), and The Last Man on Earth (1964), all three of which were adapted from Matheson's novel, Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later... (2002) has a similar premise in which a virus is unleashed in the UK and survivors attempt to band together in London. A sequel, 28 Weeks Later (2007), was released in 2007. The low-rated, direct-to-video I Am Omega (2007) is also adapted from Matheson's novel, its variant of the infected being similar to the 28 ... Later movies' cannibals. Stephen King's miniseries, The Stand (1994) also has a similar theme, in which survivors of a deadly virus migrate to two diametrically-opposed survivors' camps in Boulder, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada. 30 Days of Night (2007) depicts residents of a small town in Alaska who attempt to survive when the town is overcome by vampires during a month-long nightfall. Daybreakers (2009) (2009) also deals with an epidemic that turns most of the world's population into vampires and the subsequent search for a cure. Other movies that deal with viral epidemics include The Andromeda Strain (1971), Robin Cook's Virus (1995), The Satan Bug (1965), Twelve Monkeys (1995), the Resident Evil live-action (Project Alice) film series (2002-2016) and its animated Biohazard anthology counterparts-Baiohazâdo: Dijenerêshon (2008) and Baiohazado: Damuneshon (2012). Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • There are two possibilities. (1) The Dark Seekers made the trap for Neville. The alpha male had copied Neville's trap design and used Fred as the bait. (2) Neville had made the trap (either for food or to capture or kill the infected), then abandoned it and eventually forgot about it. The alpha male found the trap, knew what it was, and put Fred there as bait (or Neville may have put a Fred lookalike there himself as a marker). Neville then fell into his own trap. Fans hotly debate this question, mostly because it's unclear just how intelligent the Dark Seekers are. Edit

  • Neville quickly brings Sam back to his home and injects her with the cure that appeared successful on a test rat, but the compound is ineffective. Seconds later, Sam becomes fiercely aggressive and attempts to bite Neville. To save himself and spare Sam the pain and suffering of being a canine hemocyte, Neville is forced to strangle her. Edit

  • Many viewers think that Neville could have done more to save his dog Sam's life. He had the glass room, cages, chains, manacles, etc. But Neville surely wanted to spare his dog the agony of being a canine Dark Seeker, especially since he couldn't be sure of curing her. Edit

  • It's shown throughout the movie in flashbacks that, during the evacuation of Manhattan Island, Neville brought his wife Zoe (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and daughter (Willow Smith) to the dock, where they were put on one of the last helicopters transporting people off the Island before it was to be quarantined. The military then blew up all the bridges, and as they did, some desperate people jumped onto the outside of another helicopter that was taking off. This caused the helicopter to spin out of control and crash into the one that was carrying Neville's family, killing them. Edit

  • Neville had been an Army scientist, probably in charge of a government task force to contain and cure the disease. This had made him an important figure during the crisis, and many had looked to him to find a cure. His face had appeared on the cover of Time with a headline asking whether he could save humanity (this Time cover appears on his refrigerator door), and he was mentioned in the second recorded broadcast of "The Today Show" Neville was watching. He also mentions himself by name in his own repeated broadcast. Edit

  • Neville only travels during the day, when the Dark Seekers can't follow him. He is meticulous about his comings and goings, and he covers his tracks. When Anna brings him home, it is still dusk during which the Dark Seekers can still track them. She does not realize this nor does she know about Neville's precautions of spraying vinegar or ammonia on the steps outside the house, and so the Dark Seekers discover his hideout. Edit

  • Led by the Alpha Male (Dash Mihok), the Dark Seekers break into Neville's house, managing to get past his UV yard lights and mines and forcing Neville, Anna, and Ethan to take refuge in the basement lab inside of the thick plexiglass-walled room where Neville has been keeping the infected female he's been treating. Neville notices that she has become much more human in appearance and realizes that he has found a cure. As the alpha male begins crashing himself into the wall, Neville tries to convince him that he can cure them, but the male keeps up the crashing until the plexiglass starts to crack, the pattern curiously resembling a butterfly, which seems to restore Neville's faith, especially when he notices the small butterfly tattoo on Anna's neck. While Anna and Ethan crawl into a coal chute, he quickly draws a vial of the female's blood and hands it to Anna. "I think this is why you're here," he says and shuts them inside. He then detonates a M67 grenade, destroying himself and the attacking Dark Seekers. The next day finds Anna and Ethan driving along a road in the Vermont countryside until they are stopped by a walled compound. The gates are opened to them, revealing the hoped-for survivor colony. In a voiceover, Anna says, In 2009, a deadly virus burned through our civilization, pushing humankind to the edge of extinction. Dr Robert Neville dedicated his life to the discovery of a cure and the restoration of humanity. On September 9th, 2012, at approximately 8:49 p.m., he discovered that cure and, at 8:52, he gave his life to defend it. We are his legacy. This is his legend. Light of the Darkness. In the final scene, Anna hands over the vial with the antidote. Edit

  • The viewer can only guess at what was going through Neville's mind at the time. There certainly was room for the three of them, as Anna says, "Neville, there is room in here. come." However, Neville replies, 'They're not gonna stop.' Some possible reasons that have been suggested to explain Neville's decision include a) he had lost his will to live, b) if the grenade didn't kill all the Dark Seekers in the basement, the survivors would know where he, Anna, and Ethan were hiding, and c) the Alpha Male was only after Neville. Edit

  • It's necessary to closely watch the sequence of events as they take place in that scene. First, Neville, Anna, and Ethan run down to the basement laboratory with the Darkseekers closing in on them. Neville barricades the three of them in the containment room. Only then does Neville notice that the compound appears to be working on the Alpha female, who is also in the containment room with them. But the Darkseekers have already invaded the lab and surrounded the room, so Neville has no way to get to the compound, which is stored elsewhere in the lab. The only thing to which he has access is the female's blood, so he draws up a sample and gives it to Anna, knowing that the compound can be obtained and replicated from the blood as long as Anna is able to get it safely to the survivor's colony in Vermont. Edit

  • Matheson wrote his 1954 novel with the intention of turning vampires into creatures of science fiction, rather than of the supernatural, as they had always been in previous vampire tales. He gave scientific explanations for vampires' fear of crosses, light, garlic and so forth. By 2007, the idea of vampires being explainable through science was no longer new or unusual; therefore, the movie makes much less of the infected humans being vampire-like. The creatures of the book and the 2007 movie share an aversion to sunlight but little else. The Matheson vampires are intelligent and well-spoken. The movie's creatures are primitive and animal-like.

    Other differences include the following:

    • The book is set in the suburbs of Los Angeles, not New York City. One of the screenwriters, Akiva Goldsman, said this change was made because New York City is better for portraying emptiness.

    • The book's story takes place in 1976-79, while the film takes place in 2012 (bear in mind that Matheson released his book in 1954).

    • In the book, Neville discovers his dog after humanity has been wiped out; he spends weeks gaining his trust. In the movie, Sam (Samantha) had been the family dog.

    • The book's Neville really is the "last man on Earth." Everyone else is a vampire-whether living or undead. In the film, 1% of humanity is immune from the disease and has survived.

    • In the film, Neville is a military virologist. In the book, he is a civilian who works "at the plant" and possesses no special skills. Everything he does to fight the vampires, he must learn.

    • The film doesn't give a clear explanation as to why Neville is immune and it is assumes it is due to his genetics, as with the other immune survivors. In the book, he believes that a bat bite he had received while he was in the army (which made him ill for weeks) is what gave him immunity.

    • In the book, the vampires know where Neville lives and swarm outside his house at night, taunting him (they even know him by name). In the movie, they are unable to find Neville until Anna inadvertently leads them to him.

    • A species of "living vampires" are introduced in the novel; they are human-like, but still carry the virus (which they have learned to control). These don't exist in the film (except in the alternate ending, where we get a glimpse of the undead becoming more human).

    • With the exception of Neville, none of the characters from the book appear in the film (even his wife and daughter have different names and destinies; see below).

    • In the book, Neville is a "legend" among vampires, ironically taking the role that had once belonged to the vampire itself. He is now the one who stalks and kills them as they sleep. In the movie, Neville becomes a "legend" because he is the one who provides a cure to the plague.

    • Neville commits suicide in both versions. In the film's theatrical ending, he blows himself up with a grenade as an act of self-sacrifice. In the book, he takes a poison pill to avoid being publicly executed by the vampires who have captured and imprisoned him.

    • In the film, Neville's wife and daughter die in a helicopter crash while evacuating. In the book, they both become infected and die. Neville buries his wife in a shallow grave and she returns as a vampire.

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