The screams and unearthly sounds of the infected creatures in the film are by 'Mike Patton', vocalist in Faith No More, Fantomas and Mr. Bungle. (imdb.com)
Nicolas Cage was considered for the role of Robert Neville back in 1998 along with director Rob Bowman, who was eventually moved on to direct The X Files (1998). (imdb.com)
There are references to butterflies scattered throughout the movie: the "God Still Loves Us" poster; when Neville was talking to Sam about the mannequin he met in the video store a butterfly is shown flying near Sam's face for about a second; at the ending the Dark Seeker makes cracks in the glass that represent a butterfly; Neville hearing "Daddy, its a butterfly!" (a quote from his dead daughter); Anna has a butterfly tattoo on her neck. (imdb.com)
In one scene in the deserted street a billboard can be seen with a large Batman and Superman logo superimposed over each other, and the date "5-15-10". This is an in-joke at the expense of screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman did script rewrites for a "Batman Versus Superman" project in 2002. This was just one of the countless attempts to revive the Superman franchise that culminated in the release of Superman Returns (2006). (imdb.com)
Cameron Monaghan auditioned for the part of Ethan.
Will Smith left the production for a couple of days to attend Tom Cruise`s wedding to Katie Holmes in Rome, Italy.
Guillermo del Toro, Will Smith`s first choice, turned down the offer to direct this film so he could make Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008).
Warner Bros. Pictures has owned the rights to the book since the 1970s. The studio first attempted adapting it as The Omega Man (1971) with director Boris Sagal, starring Charlton Heston. Then as `I Am Legend` with director Ridley Scott, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which fell through when the production went over-budget. And then in 2002, Michael Bay was set to direct Will Smith, but they decided to make Bad Boys II (2003) instead.
The scenes at the Brooklyn Bridge involved over 1000 extras and various military vehicles and aircraft.
Much of this film was shot on location in New York City`s Washington Square Park during fall and winter 2006-2007, causing holiday decorations to be taken down and replaced tumultuously for over three months.
The film was green-lit without a script.
Warner Brothers initially opposed filming in New York because of costs and logistical challenges. However, Michael Tadross, a veteran New York production manager got the city to approve closing the Grand Central viaduct, several blocks of Fifth Avenue and Washington Square Park, albeit at night and on weekends, between September 2006 and April 2007.
Plants were transported via trucks from Florida to dress up the city streets as if weeds had overtaken them.
The noise from the special effects explosions used in the scenes along the East River interrupted voice recording on the Nickelodeon children`s show, "The Wonder Pets" (2006), which has its production offices one block from where shooting of ‘I Am Legend’ took place.
All of the paintings in Dr. Neville`s house were provided by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Release prints were delivered to theaters with the fake title `Blood Allies`.
# # Will Smith grew so enamored of his canine co-star, Abby, that he tried to adopt her when the shooting was finished, but the dog`s trainer could not be persuaded to give her up.
While doing a press conference in Japan for the release of the movie, Will Smith accidentally revealed the ending to a collection of entertainment reporters. Warner Brothers asked the reporters and all those present to withhold the ending and the reporters all obliged without any payoff or consideration.
Ted Levine and Tom Cruise were also considered for the role of Robert Neville.
Although the creatures are referred to as Dark Seekers, during the film, if watched with the subtitles on (DVD) they are called Hemocytes.
In the film, Will Smith (I)``s character holds up a CD, calling it "the best album ever made." The album is Bob Marley`s "Legend." It is a greatest hits compilation that was released after Marley`s death.
# # Nicolas Cage was considered for the role of Robert Neville back in 1998 along with director Rob Bowman, who was eventually moved on to direct The X Files (1998).
Warner Bros. gained the rights to the novel by Richard Matheson in the 1970s and produced a version of it, called The Omega Man (1971), in 1971. Previous to that, Associated Producers did an adaptation in 1964 called The Last Man on Earth (1964) with Vincent Price, shot in Italy and directed by Italian Ubaldo Ragona and American Sidney Salkow. Although Matheson did not contribute to the screenplay of the 1964 film--which took a critical drubbing--he did contribute to the screenplay for this film.
The studio spent an estimated $5 million for a six-night shoot in New York City involving the Brooklyn Bridge. To film in this location, the producers needed the approval of as many as 14 government agencies. The shooting required a crew of 250, plus 1,000 extras, including 160 National Guard troops in full combat gear.
In the scene in Times Square, there is a billboard for the Justice League: Mortal movie set to open May 10th, 2010. Also in the video store, posters for the live action adaptations of Teen Titans and Green Lantern.
At the New York premiere, Will Smith apologized for the disruption shooting the movie caused to the city residents. He said, "I would like to issue a public apology to the citizens of New York. There were a couple of streets we had to close off during the filming of `I Am Legend`. I am very sorry. People were kind of upset with me."
In the last scene of the movie, Anna and Ethan are driving through the autumn countryside. This scene was filmed in East Amwell, New Jersey because in the original filming place, the leaves on the trees had already fallen off.
In one scene in the deserted street a billboard in the background can be seen. It is the Superman logo over the Batman logo, insinuating a movie tie-in or face-off has been filmed.
SPOILER: All vehicles driven by the main characters are Fords. There is the Ford/Shelby GT500 Mustang that Neville drives in the beginning, the Ford Expedition he drives throughout the film, and the Ford Escape used to depart New York at the end.