2007’s I Am Legend was a lot of things, among them a good film, albeit a dastardly adaptation of the 1954 horror novel by Richard Matheson. But one of the more surprising aspects of the film wasn’t noticed until much later, after the film was scrutinized by fans. This easter egg had the world salivating at the prospect for almost a decade. Yep. In a blink and you’ll miss it second during the film, you can see a billboard poster for a film called Batman vs. Superman.
You’re now probably wondering what the heck that was even doing in there, as Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice has only just now made it to theaters. It’s a long story. The short of it is that director Francis Lawrence and writer/producer Akiva Goldsman were brainstorming ideas for films that they wanted to air during the apocalypse. Akiva Goldsman had previously written the second draft of the, then cancelled, 2004 Batman vs. Superman project. In fact, the studio never even gave Goldsman clearance to use that scrapped logo in the film, but Lawrence stuck it in there anyway.
And yes. There was an early Batman vs. Superman movie floating around Warner Bros. for a bit. Originally pitched by writer Andrew Kevin Walker, his script was deemed too dark. Akiva Goldsman rewrote the script, and director Wolfgang Peterson was set to direct it. You can find Goldsman’s script for Batman vs. Superman: Asylum online. Odd enough it would have relied partially on the notion that The Joker died in Tim Burton’s Batman film, as well as Dick Grayson, Jim Gordon, and Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce has since quit being Batman (sound familiar?) because he didn’t want to replace justice with vengeance, or something. Superman is also having some sort of odd identity crisis, that doesn’t fit the character whatsoever, and is caught in the midst of a divorce with Lois. He spends a lot of time moping and rekindling his past love with Lana Lang.
Like the 2016 film there would have been some heavy manipulation from Lex Luthor for the two of them to fight, although in this iteration of the story they were the best of friends. In fact, their fight is extremely mindless, noting that they both know they’ve been manipulated. Anyway. You can read more about that scrapped film here. But back in 2004, WB felt that they could make more money if they kept the franchises seperate. David S. Goyer, co-writer of 2005’s Batman Begins, had this to say:
“Batman vs. Superman is where you go when you admit to yourself that you’ve exhausted all possibilities… It’s like Frankenstein Meets Wolfman, or Freddy vs. Jason. It’s somewhat of an admission that the franchise is on its last gasp.”
Interestingly, Goyer went on to become one of the writers for the 2016 BvS.
But that’s where the logo found in I Am Legend originates. It’s heavily reminiscent of the logo for the Batman/Superman comic series written by Jeph Loeb in 2003, and that is apparently where the inspiration came from. It stuck, and has since been modernized for the 2016 version of the project, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
What did you think of this Geek Fact? If you liked it, stay tuned for more just like it. And be sure to check out some of our other Geek Facts! If you know of any other geeky facts you’d like me to cover, let me know in the comments below.