Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman on Tuesday blasted vaccine hesitancy linked to his 2007 film "I Am Legend" starring Will Smith.
Fellow writer Marc Bernardin retweeted an excerpt from a story published by The New York Times in which an employee at a New York City eyewear company said she was scared to get a COVID-19 vaccine because she believed a vaccine was what created the zombies in the fiction "I Am Legend" film.
"We. Are. All. Going. To. Die," Bernardin wrote, appearing to bemoan the ongoing vaccine hesitancy. "Sooner. Than. We. Should."
Goldsman, who is also known for writing films like "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Da Vinci Code," responded to Bernardin's tweet by writing, "Oh. My. God. It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real."
Oh. My. God. It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real.— Akiva Goldsman (@AkivaGoldsman) August 9, 2021
In the 2007 film — based on a 1954 novel by Richard Matheson — a re-engineered virus inadvertently turns most of the world's population into mutant zombies. The movie follows a similar premise as the book in which a pandemic turns much of the world's population into beings that resemble traditional vampires.
The 1954 novel by Matheson has been adapted into or inspired at least three other science fiction films.
Time Magazine Washington Correspondent Vera Bergengruen, who shared the initial post that Bernardin and Goldsman reacted to, pointed out that much of the content in "I Am Legend" has been proliferated among anti-vaxxer and vaccine hesitant groups online. Bergengruen noted that "I Am Legend" related anti-vaxxer content appeared to be especially popular among pro-Trump and QAnon online forums.
The striking thing about this anecdote is that it's not one person's crazy remark, but sounds like something that's been spreading around widely in some corners of the Internet. Which it turns out it has. This post has tens of thousands of shares, with mostly serious comments pic.twitter.com/ktbwZja1NV— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) August 9, 2021