Richard Matheson (1926-2013)
Richard Matheson might not be a household name, but he has influenced storytelling in movies and television since the 1950s.
He was responsible for some of the most memorable Twilight Zone episodes (And When the Sky was Opened, Little Girl Lost, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Steel) and wrote stories and novels that are still being made and remade as movies today. His novel The Shrinking Man was the basis of the classic 50s film The Incredible Shrinking Man and is due to be remade in the next few years. I Am Legend has found its way to the big screen three times: The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), and I Am Legend (2007). The short story Button, Button became the 2009 movie The Box. The recent movie Real Steel was inspired by the short story Steel. The horror movie Stir of Echoes was based on the story A Stir of Echoes. Another movie – What Dreams May Come – came from a novel of the same name.
But for those of us of a certain age, Richard Matheson was responsible for a movie that touched our hearts. Long before Rose and Jack in Titanic, there were Elise and Richard in Somewhere in Time. Based on his novel Bid Time Return, Matheson gave us a love story with a time travel twist. He was a storyteller who understood that being a human being meant taking chances and maybe getting your heart broken. His stories move us and his talent will live on.