Legend Science a Little Shaky

The idea of this killer virus is 'far-fetched,' says one expert
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 11:38 AM CST
Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive at the premiere of "I Am Legend" at Madison Square Garden, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A man-made virus has turned people into mutants and killed off the rest. Downtown New York City looks like a jungle, and the only man left on the planet is trying to reverse the plague using his immune blood. So how realistic is the premise of Will Smith’s new blockbuster I Am Legend? Surprise! Not very, experts tell Popular Mechanics.

While a wildlife expert says animals and plants would certainly settle in a post-apocalyptic NYC, one of the world’s top virologists says the virus storyline is “pretty far-fetched.” Viruses don’t mutate and become airborne, and the main character’s attempt to find a cure in his own blood “doesn’t make any sense,” he says. As for the mutants: “This is Hollywood. That’s all I can say.”