The Screenwriter of “I Am Legend” Would Like to Remind You That the COVID-19 Vaccine Will Not Turn You Into a Vampire

Some anti-vaxxers are concerned that the shot will turn them into the undead villains from the 2007 film

Will Smith and his dog in the film "I Am Legend" -- some anti-vaxxers are mistakenly suggesting that the film's premise is a good reason not to get the vaccine.
Will Smith in "I Am Legend"
Warner Bros.

As new cases of the Delta variant continue to surge across the country, anti-vaxxers are standing their ground and espousing all kinds of insane conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 vaccine. The latest one? That the jab will turn you into a mutant, zombie-like vampire like in the 2007 film I Am Legend.

“Just wanted to remind you all that in the movie I Am Legend the year is 2021, and people turned into zombies because of the wrong vaccines. Have a great day,” a meme circulating on Facebook reads.

There are, of course, a number of things wrong with that statement, the first being that the COVID-19 vaccine has been scientifically proven to be safe and effective and will not turn you into some sort of undead creature. But the meme also gets some basic facts wrong about the Will Smith movie. The film is set in 2012, not 2021, and the Darkseekers — the vampiric, albino mutants in the movie who are vulnerable to sunlight — are the result of a genetically re-engineered virus, not a vaccine.

On Monday, I Am Legend screenwriter Akiva Goldsman wrote, “Oh. My. God. It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real.”

That should go without saying, but of course even if I Am Legend was about a vaccine turning people into vampires, it is a work of fiction. What’s next, we’re going to have people worried about swapping bodies with their parents because it happened in Freaky Friday or wary of scientists because Rick Moranis accidentally miniaturized his children in Honey I Shrunk the Kids?

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