Happy Birthday, Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson – the man behind I Am Legend and The Shrinking Man – was born on this day in 1926.

I Am Legend, of course, has been filmed a number of times – as The Last Man on Earth in 1964; as The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston, in 1971; and under its own title in 2007, with Will Smith in the lead role. The Shrinking Man was filmed in 1957 as The Incredible Shrinking Man. Matheson wrote the screenplay himself, and the film won a Hugo Award in 1958. Now, it seems that Hollywood is going to take another crack the tale, with Matheson again providing the screenplay.

We are, by nature, cynical about remakes, but in situations such as this, where the state of special effects has advanced so much since the original, it seems like a worthwhile exercise. And if this new film serves to introduce a new generation of readers to Richard Matheson’s work, then it has the SF Gateway seal of approval.

For more about Richard Matheson, we recommend his Author entry in the indispensable, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.