Akiva Goldsman, who co-wrote the screenplay for the 2007 film starring Will Smith, clarified that “I Am Legend” is pure fantasy after an unnamed source in a recent New York Times report
said they feared vaccination because of the events of the film.
In that film, based on the 1954 novel of the same name
, an attempt to engineer the measles virus into a cancer cure goes awry, infecting most of humanity and turning people into zombie-vampire hybrids. Vaccines do not factor into the plot.
a succinct response to the misinformation inspired by the film: “Oh. My. God. It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real.”
The film has been a vessel for anti-vaccine sentiment since the first Covid-19 vaccines were authorized in 2020. Reuters
published a “fact check” of the film’s plot in December of that year after social media users circulated claims that a “vaccine” had zombified the characters in the film.
To be clear, vaccines have never caused zombie-like reactions in recipients. Countless reports conducted in the last year show that vaccination against Covid-19 is the best defense against severe illness or death from the disease. A new analysis of data
from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 99.99% of fully vaccinated people have not had a breakthrough case of Covid-19 that resulted in hospitalization or death. (The CDC did, though, use a fictional zombie apocalypse
to teach disaster preparedness in 2011.)
Smith, whose virologist character spends much of the film fending off infected mutants and searching for a cure to the would-be cure, has not commented on the “I Am Legend” hubbub. But it seems those who base their fear of vaccines on the film have misunderstood its plot.