The Endings of I Am Legend
Joyce argues the alternate endings of I Am Legend (Francis Lawrence 2007) exemplify the differences between the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic genres and explains why the post-apocalyptic is preferable for transmedia storytelling. This chapter first distinguishes between the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic and then defines the post-apocalyptic genre as being related to the Robinsonade. The four central tensions of the genre are described as independence-dependence, progress-regression, utopia-dystopia, and ambivalence about technology. Finally, the chapter looks at the transmedia extensions of I Am Legend and argues that, whereas the release version’s apocalyptic ending foreclosed any franchise expansion, the alternate post-apocalyptic ending could have created a transmedia franchise, showing why the post-apocalyptic is an ideal genre for transmedia storytelling.
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