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Ed Driscoll

RIP, Veteran Sci-Fi Novelist and Screenwriter Richard Matheson

June 24th, 2013 - 5:25 pm

Variety reports that Matheson was 87:

Richard Matheson, the sci-fi and fantasy novelist and screenwriter who influenced modern genre writers and directors and wrote numerous stories and books that were adapted as films including “I Am Legend,” died on Sunday at his home in Calabasas, Calif,  according to his publisher. He was 87 and had been ill for some time.

As well as creating source material for films including “What Dreams May Come,” “A Stir of Echoes” and “The Shrinking Man,” Matheson was a prolific film and TV scribe and responsible for some of the most popular “Twilight Zone” episodes as well as writing for nearly every other anthology series of the 1960s and 70s with credits including “Lawman,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery,” “The Martian Chronicles,” “Amazing Stories” and “Star Trek” episode “The Enemy Within.”

For “Twilight Zone,” Matheson wrote the classic William Shatner episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” The Hugh Jackman film “Real Steel” was adapted from his “Twilight Zone” episode “Steel.”

Between novels and screenplays, the IMDB lists Matheson as contributing to an astonishing 80 film and TV titles — a number which will keep growing, as spin-offs and reboots of his earlier work, such the 1971 Charlton Heston vehicle The Omega Man being reworked into Will Smith’s I Am Legend, will likely continue for years to come.

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Cross-posted at PJ Lifestyle

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RIP Richard Matheson. I was actually surprised he was still alive. What a great writer he was.

One small note, Omega Man was itself a "reworking" of Vincent Price's "The Last Man on Earth", which was based on the novel by Matheson. The novel has a different take on the protagonist. The novel is well worth reading.
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