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Sci-Five: Fun Facts About Richard “I Am Legend” Matheson

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Richard Matheson is going through a renaissance, if for no other reason than because he’s featured in the newest episode of The Sci Fi Department video show.

Here are five more facts you (maybe) didn’t know about the legendary author.

1. He came up with the idea for I Am Legend after seeing Tod Browning’s Dracula . He thought that one vampire was scary, but a world full of vampires would be terrifying.

2. He turned down writing The Night Stalker as a TV series. He thought it would never work as a weekly show.

3. He almost wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds . Matheson disagreed with Hitchcock over one key idea: Matheson thought the audience should rarely see the birds, Hitchcock wanted to see them a lot.

4. Matheson’s screenplay for Jaws 3 was radically altered by script doctors. His original story didn’t involve a Sea World style theme park, instead it followed the great white shark getting trapped in a lake.

5. He penned a World War II novel titled The Beardless Warriors, While it wasn’t science-fiction it was a favorite of Rod Serling, who used it for his college course on creative writing.

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