So recently I was reading an article in Entertainment Weekly about Disney’s upcoming live-action version of Aladdin and, noting that the Genie would be played by one of my wife’s favorite actors, I thought I would see if she had heard about it.
So over the holiday last week, we watched the movie District 9. Originally my wife had declined to screen this film, but after hearing from several friends about how good it was, she agreed to go see it. I had also told her it was supposed to be good, but apparently, after suggesting she might like Hellboy because it was made by Guillermo del Toro (she is a huge fan of his Spanish-language movies like The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth), suggesting she might like Kung Fu Hustle because because it was “probably like a Jackie Chan movie”, and trying to convince her that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a classic of 80s filmmaking, I lack credibility. Go figure.
I’ve at last gotten around to Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend , which has been on my “to read” list for years. I’m liking it so far, but what’s most interesting to me is that (minor spoiler alert), in Long Before Dawn, I took the same approach to crosses and other holy symbols that Matheson did–i.e., a holy symbol only works on a vampire who practiced the represented religion when alive. As the main character in I Am Legend, Robert Neville, says: “… neither a Jew nor a Hindu nor a Mohammedan nor an atheist, for that matter, would fear the cross.” He later goes on to explain that because the classic vampire legend arose in heavily Christian Europe, the cross became identified–wrongly–as the universal anti-vampire ward, which is exactly what I was thinking when I wrote Long Before Dawn.
Other than this little tidbit, of course, the two books are completely different. Matheson takes a rigorous, scientific, naturalistic approach to his vampires, whereas mine are supernatural beasties who can fly around and turn into mist. Still, I find myself pleased to find that my vampire book has something in common with one of the undisputed classics of the genre.
Now if I can just interest Will Smith in starring in an adaptation of Long Before Dawn, that would be another similarity, and one I could definitely live with …