It was going to star Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lead and would have given him the career boost needed during the end of the 90’s. Scott contacted the effects company Amalgamated Dynamics to come up with some interesting concept art, which is far better than the appallingly computer generated effects from the rather dull Will Smith version of the movie which would come out over a decade later.
Ridley’s version had a sky-rocketing budget with reports that it was over $200 million, so the studio hastily backed off and the project languished until the Smith version came out in 2007.
If ever there was a missed opportunity it was this film and I would have loved to see Ridley’s vision for this story, especially with Arnie in the lead. Surely it would have been more engaging than the 2007 version which I can barely sit through.
Anyway, here is a 3 minute video depicting some of the concept art, with interviews with Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis, discussing their plans for the film.
You can also read the full script to Ridley Scott’s I Am Legend by clicking here.