I Am Legend reshoots explained
Whenever I've written about reshoots on any film and mentioned the Interflab rumours that come along with them I've always said that they aren't a sign that a film is actually in trouble as reshoots happen all the time.
That's just what Francis Lawrence the Director has said about the reshoots he's done on I Am Legend, and his explanation is way better than anything I could come up with.
“Yeah, we re-shot stuff, yeah. But we couldn’t re-shoot stuff until we had the effects, because you have to wait for you to have effects and then you can show people to see if there’s anything weird and then you go back and do little pick ups.”
Now it might not be terribly clear what he's saying in that comment from the Collider interview – which you should beware of since the audio interview contains huge spoilers for the film.
In a comment made to Shock Till You Drop he puts it even better.
“There's this misconception that it's always a bad thing and for me it's like saying a painter only has one shot at a brush stroke. That you can't erase and do it again...
...we weren't seeing fully-rendered shots until about a month ago. The movie starts to take on a whole other life. It's not only until later that you can judge a movie as a whole and go, 'Huh, maybe we should shoot this little piece in the middle, or tweak this a little bit.' It just so happened that our re-shoots revolved around the end of the movie.”
Now that makes a lot more sense. There are going to be tons of CGI in here, because basically it's a ruined city with CGI effect creatures running around, so just about every shot that isn't Will Smith indoors has something in it.
I can see why this would be the case, and his comparison to a painting is a good one, why can't people go and do reshoots? I think the real problem is when those reshoots are done by another Director.
I Am Legend is shaping up to be something special though, I'm really looking forward to it, and the good news for the DVD release is that there could well be an alternative ending on the go. Francis Lawrence says over on Collider.
“…there’s lots of extra footage. I would love to do an alternate version with extra stuff in it, you know for the DVD...
...I don’t want to actually discuss the ending just because I want people to make up their own minds, but maybe they’ll be an alternate version at some point.”
Now that sounds like there could be a great DVD offering in the works, and with the amount of behind the scenes footage that seems to have been shot there could well be plenty to put in.