Fact check: A vaccine did not turn characters in the movie ‘I Am Legend’ into zombies

Social media users are sharing content online claiming that characters in the movie “I Am Legend” starring actor Will Smith turned into zombies as a result of a vaccine. This statement is false.

Reuters fact check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen here and here.

One report reads: “Remember, in I Am Legend, the disease did not make the zombies. The vaccination did. ”

The reports are being shared after the United States approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 11, 2020. (Here) Reuters’ scores show that the virus has infected more than 73.5 million and killed more than 1.65 million people worldwide (here).

The 2007 film “I Am Legend” is a science-fiction action film in which the scientist Robert Neville (played by Smith) believes he is the only survivor of a plague that kills most people and turns others into zombie-like creatures (www.imdb .com / title / tt0480249 /, here). Throughout the film, he struggles to find other survivors and find a cure.

The film begins with a scene in which a fictional news anchor the character Dr. Alice Krippin interviewed, who cured 10 009 cancer patients with a genetically engineered measles virus. Here is a transcript of the film visible.

Krippin says during this interview scene: ‘In this case, the genetically engineered measles virus is useful rather than harmful. I find the best way to describe it is if you can imagine your body as a highway, and you imagine the virus as a very fast car driven by a very bad man. Imagine the damage the car can cause. If you then replace the man with a policeman, the picture changes. And that’s actually what we did. ”

This genetically engineered measles virus is the reason for the plague and the zombie-like creatures in the fictional movie. It was not a vaccine, but a modified virus used to treat cancer (cancer is not caused by a virus, as can be read in more detail in a Reuters fact check here).


Untrue. The virus in ‘I am Legend’ was a genetically engineered measles virus created to cure cancer, not a vaccine.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.