Constantine director Francis Lawrence already did a swell job of capturing the hellish landscape of Los Angeles, and he’s sticking around that misery-filled town for more bleak treats with the adaptation of the fantastic Richard Matheson vampire story I Am Legend. 

The influential tale follows Neville, the last living man in a postapocalyptic LA where he contends with hordes of bloodthirsty nocturnal mutants, the result of a devastating global plague.  Lawrence has certainly proven he has the visual chops to create the appropriately stark atmosphere of the source material, so let’s pray he finds a leading man with sufficient gravitas and fights the impulse or inevitable studio pressure to make it a clamorous action flick.

Lawrence was first rumored for the job way back in February when his black magic movie debut found an audience, but things are just now officially rolling on the big-budget Warner Bros. flick. The filmmakers’ plan is to revisit the notoriously unproduced Mark Protosevich draft, but considering the heavyweights on the list of producers (David Heyman, Neal Moritz, Akiva Goldsman) the script will surely get thoroughly modified before the proposed 2006 start date.

The perennially postponed project has previously had Ridley Scott, Rob Bowman and Michael Bay hesitantly hovering their asses over the director’s chair, while actors rumored for the lead role of Neville reads like a high-profile Who’s Who: Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Michael Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nic Cage, Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell have all supposedly considered the lonely errand of battling the hemoglobin-slurping undead.

"I Am Legend" has been translated to film on two prior occasions, the somewhat creepy Vincent Price film The Last Man on Earth, and the bare-chested Charleton Heston cheesefest The Omega Man.

Fear daylight on our message boards!