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Richard Matheson Selling 150 Short Stories, Books, Plays’ Film Rights

Will Smith, I Am Legend

Author Richard Matheson is selling the film rights to 150 Books, Plays, and Scripts. Richard Matheson is the author of the 1954 short story I Am Legend, which has already been adapted into three films: “The Last Man on Earth in 1964, as The Omega Man in 1971, and as I Am Legend in 2007, along with an unofficial direct to video production capitalizing on that film, I Am Omega. It was also the inspiration behind the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead”, as well as 1983 novel What Dreams May Come (made into What Dreams May Come), the 1970 short story Button, Button (made into The Box), and the 1956 short story Steel, which was adapted into Reel Steel, a film premiering today in the United States theaters.

With positive film reviews coming in for Reel Steel, this was a very opportune time for Richard Matheson to make this move, especially if Reel Steel is number one at the box office this weekend, which it very much might be.

Now the writer and his screenwriter son, [Richard Christian Matheson], are looking to sell some 150 of the elder Matheson’s stories, books, plays, and scripts for potential film and TV adaptations.

The Mathesons are looking to sell the properties under the condition that they be allowed to retain some creative control through the development process, including the opportunity to have a say in hiring of directors and screenwriters — or even to write some of the scripts themselves. [Former] William Morris agent Alan Gasmer, who is helping to sell the stories, will serve as producer on the projects that come out of Matheson’s library.

Some have already begun adapting his other stories:

An adaptation of his ghost story Eastbound is currently in development at DreamWorks, while Real Steel director Shawn Levy is in talks to get the film rights to Matheson’s story “Deus Ex Machina.” The plot revolves around a man who realizes he’s a machine when he begins bleeding oil.

I have a collection of Matheson’s work and read I Am Legend years ago but never thought of reading his other stories in the collection. I Am Legend turned into a good read, especially the last half of the short story. I am not sure, but one of the other stories in the collection could be Steel. Are you a fan of Richard Matheson’s work?

Source: Slashfilm, Variety


About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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