The Omega Man Movie Poster

Trivia for The Omega Man

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  • British studio Hammer Films had previously contemplated a film adaptation of Richard Matheson's book under the title of "The Night Creatures", written by Matheson himself. The project was ultimately deemed too graphic, foundered and eventually died.
  • Richard Matheson said that The Omega Man (1971) was so removed from his book that it didn't even bother him.
  • Charlton Heston had read the original novel on an airplane coming back to California, and was very interested in a modern adaptation of the book; he was totally unaware of the fact it had already been made into a film years before - The Last Man on Earth (1964), starring Vincent Price.
  • The movie was the inspiration for two CBC Radio comedy series, "Steve the First" and "Steve the Second", starring Matt Watts and Mark McKinney. Each series was about a slacker (the second the son of the first), called upon to save the world after a disaster.
  • Neville's primary weapon during the film is a Smith & Wesson M76 submachine gun, sometimes fitted with a flashlight. During the first night attack by the Family, Neville uses a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) with an infrared scope.
  • The production company wanted a locale that looked like an abandoned metropolitan area, but it was too costly to build. The producer drove through downtown Los Angeles one weekend and discovered there were no shoppers, so the majority of the film's exteriors were shot there on weekends.
  • Early in the film, Neville sees a calendar dated March, 1975, then remarks that the local cinema is offering Woodstock (1970) "for the third straight year". This indicates The Omega Man (1971) is set in 1977. (Neville himself mentions the August 5, 1977 while recording his audio diary.)
  • Brian Tochi's feature film debut.
  • Warner Brothers originally wanted Diahann Carroll for the role of Lisa.
  • In the film, the plague that causes the end of the world was unleashed by germ warfare as the result of a border war between China and Russia. In fact, China and Russia had some very serious border skirmishes during 1969 that had many world leaders concerned about the possibility of an all-out war between the Communist superpowers.
  • The television newscaster reporting about the spreading of the disease in Neville's flashback is Matthias before getting infected and becoming the leader of The Family.
  • Rosalind Cash was uneasy before her love scene with Charlton Heston, saying "It feels strange to screw Moses."
  • In David Shipman's Great Movie Stars - the International Years, he states that Charlton Heston's salary was 300,000 dollars.
  • The film takes place in August 1977.
  • The windows through which Neville shoots at the Family member in the opening credits are still there at 840 Santee Street, Los Angeles. You can also still see the blind alley behind his car before he screeches the breaks at 743 Santee Street (the "LA Cornell Building No. 6" is still there, unchanged). Likewise, the red-brick warehouse in the background as he shoots is still there, too, at 825 S. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles. Even the little "deluxe burgers" stand he passes right before stopping is still there (although now covered & without external signs).
  • Judy Pace was considered for the role of survivor Lisa that went to Rosalind Cash.
  • Charlton Heston had approached Orson Welles to direct this.
  • This film is the second of four films based on the 1954 novel "I Am Legend" by author, actor and screenwriter Richard Matheson. The first film, and arguably the best adaptation of the book thus far despite some flaws, was The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price, the third film was I Am Omega (2007), a mockbuster of the fourth adaptation I Am Legend (2007) starring Will Smith. Night of the Living Dead (1968) was also inspired by the book. Interestingly, some scenes of Neville and Lisa "shopping" around the abandoned L.A. are reminiscent of that film's sequel Dawn of the Dead (1978).
  • The writers came up with the idea to make Neville's love interest an African-American woman. Even though an interracial relationship was still considered controversial in the seventies, the writers figured that in a world where humanity had almost become extinct, the few survivors would no longer care about such issues.
  • The façade/set used for Neville's fortress/home still stands relatively unchanged on Warner Brothers Ranch Park Boulevard (formerly Columbia Ranch) in Burbank. It can be easily seen using Google-Maps 3D. The façade faces east-southeast.
  • The columned building set/façade used as the Family's "hive" still stands relatively unchanged in Warner Brothers Studios Burbank back-lot just northeast of Warner Brothers Stage 25.
  • The 8-track that Neville plays in his car in the opening sequence is clearly Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night" - but presumably due to licensing issues an instrumental version of "A Summer Place" is used on the soundtrack instead.
  • The scene with Robert Neville running down the street yelling, "there's no phone ringing, dammit!" was filmed on the same stretch of road as a scene in Fight Club (1999) where the Narrator puts Marla Singer on a bus and tells her to leave town for her own safety.
  • In the beginning of the movie a theater is shown with Woodstock on the marquis, and later shows footage of the film. Woodstock was one of the most successful films for Warner Brothers, the same company that distributed Omega Man.
  • Charlton Heston says in his biography that director Sagal lost his temper many times on the set with the crew.
  • Charlton said that his co star Rosalind Cash had difficulties to play with him. He then tried to talk to her very quietly and confessed that he also had difficulties to play Ben Hur.
  • Charlton Heston had to ride a motorcycle, which he had never made before.
  • According to Charlton Heston's diary entries for the making of the film, he wrote how he was beginning to tire of "action hero" roles by this point in his career.
  • Charlton Heston had a hand in Anthony Zerbe being cast for the movie, after having seen the actor performing in the theatre.
  • Was filmed in October and November 1970.
  • In a slight departure from the 1964 version, "The Omega Man" focused more on the science fiction aspects of the plot instead of straight horror.
  • This was the second film Charlton Heston and Anthony Zerbe starred in together.
  • The movie came under heavy criticism for its violent content.

Spoilers

  • At the end of this movie, Charlton Heston's character dies the same way as he did in another movie: Khartoum; his body stabbed by a lance.
  • The street/set down which the Family walks (and across from where Lisa reveals her change into a mutant-albino) still stands relatively unchanged on the Warner Brothers Studios Burbank back-lot. It is one block north of Warner Brothers Stage 25, very close to the columned building that served as the Family's "hive" (which is still also present). It was also used as Gotham City police headquarters in the 1960's "Batman" series.
  • The final shot of Charlton Heston dead in the fountain is meant to be reminiscent of Christ on the cross.
  • The fountain from the Friends sitcom, was built over the fountain that Neville dies in.
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