'I Am Legend' and 'Twilight Zone' Writer Richard Matheson Has Died
Following last week's tragic news that James Gandolfini had passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack in Italy, another influential talent in cinema is gone. THR reports author Richard Matheson, known for writing the source material behind films like I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man and What Dreams May Come has passed away at age 87. Though the cause of death was not disclosed, Mateson died in his home in California. The author excelled in short stories, selling his first to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. But that was just the start of an influential sci-fi career.
Here's Richard Matheson's most famous contribution to The Twilight Zone:
Aside from writing the stories which inspired films like Stir of Echoes, Somewhere in Time and Richard Kelly's The Box, Matheson also made waves by way of The Twilight Zone. One of the most iconic segments, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, has seen several segment adaptations. William Shatner starred in the 1963 version and John Lithgow brought it to life in Twilight Zone: The Movie. Another segment called Steel served as the inspiration for the Hugh Jackman film Real Steel. The 16 episodes on which Matheson worked have been sited as a big influence for talents like Stephen King and more.
In an interesting turn, Matheson adapted his short story Duel into the 1971 TV film directed by Steven Spielberg, and the writer would later go on to script the screenplay for Jaws 3D. Contiuing on the TV side of things, Matheson wrote for some of the most iconic programming for the small screen including Star Trek, Combat!, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Alfred Hitckcock Hour. Matheson has dozens more short stories in his career that spanned over 40 years, and his legacy will live on through film and television, not to mention generations of writers touched by his stories. Rest in peace.