‘After Earth’ Official Site Launches; New Synopsis and Character Details

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after earth jaden smith After Earth Official Site Launches; New Synopsis and Character Details

After Earth is the new sci-fi film from director M. Night Shyamalan; though, you wouldn’t know it from the trailer, which fails to mention his name anywhere (how times have changed for the Oscar-nominee once dubbed “The Next Spielberg”).

The film doesn’t open until next summer, but Columbia Pictures is using the trailer to kickoff viral marketing and promotion. That means launching an official site for After Earth, which includes a tweaked synopsis, character details and the promise of an interactive campaign (tying into the project’s supplementary material).

Here is the revised synopsis for After Earth (formerly, One Thousand A.E.):

A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.

Note that the previous After Earth synopsis did not include any mention of “an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash”; nor is there any direct reference to that plot point in the trailer. Instead, that preview offers a sample of the father-son core of the story, while teasing the hostile and unfamiliar world that Earth has evolved into since humanity abandoned it. I would go so far as to argue that it’s one of the better trailers released this holiday season, as it illustrates why moviegoers should be interested – rather than relying on secrecy and ambiguity as hype (see: the Star Trek Into Darkness teaser and Man of Steel trailer).

Moreover, there’s the promise of more secrets waiting to be unveiled (as indicated by the above synopsis); the Oblivion trailer was successful for similar reasons, with both relying on the promise of a creative vision – without having built-in brand property expectations to fall back upon.

after earth logo 570x227 After Earth Official Site Launches; New Synopsis and Character Details

On that note: the official After Earth website includes new tidbits about J. Smith’s protagonist, ranging from his age and weight to his skills and personal philosophy (“They don’t give statues for being scared”). There’s also a reference to his sister (Zoë Kravitz, X-Men: First Class) being deceased, suggesting the character could be appearing through flashbacks – possibly, with Kitai suffering survivor’s guilt or regret about being unable to save her – or won’t have much screen time, beyond a reference or two.

Lastly, by clicking on the “Project Next Generation” link on the official site, you can sign up for Facebook updates (re: viral marketing) that offers more insight into the film’s backstory. Indeed, that mythology is explored in upcoming After Earth tie-in prequel comic books, novels and novellas that better recount intimate details of humankind’s exodus from ruined Earth (all that and more was discussed at the film’s Comic-Con panel).

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After Earth opens in theaters on June 7th, 2013, with Shyamalan directing from an original script draft written by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) and subsequent revisions by Shyamalan and Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan.

Does it sounds like a return-to-form for Shyamalan? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Columbia Pictures

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TAGS: After Earth, one thousand ae

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  1. great 3 things i don’t like in film… will smith, nepotism and m.night Shymalan.

    • Agree with all three, and I’ll add a fourth…Jaden Smith. Can’t stand the kid! I was actually rooting against him, at times, in Karate Kid. I don’t believe his character was written as being unlikeable in that movie…I just think he comes across that way.

      • Well, to be fair. I rewatched the original Karate Kid the other day, and that Daniel Larusso character is a pretty unlikebale overly cocky little sucker as well. Guess I didn’t notice that as much as a kid.

        • Well, even in real life, when Jaden Smith was on David Letterman, he was roundly criticized for being a brat on the show.

    • stop been a big baby. so what he has his son doing movies he helping his child to be success just like every parent.

      • i’m not being a baby, i honestly have stopped watching will smith movies because he’s hollywoods go to black person and good for him for building his kids a career as opposed to letting them struggle on their own without a helping hand and possible sense of entitlement that an alarming amount of celebrity kids have. But hey, lets here it for another possibly crappy sci-fi vehicle he’s forced up on so his kids will get famous. Day the Earth stood still remake anyone? I am Legend? Though not sci-fi, but the Karate Kid remake where the kid doesn’t learn karate but kung fu because those are the same things right?

        • *hear not here.

        • “i honestly have stopped watching will smith movies because he’s hollywoods go to black person”

          No offense, but that’s one of the dumbest reasons to not watch certain movies that I’ve heard in a long while.

          • Will is a good actor but he may have peaked in the pursuit of happyness. But according to your hollywoods go to black guy…. thata denzel and he is alsp good.

            • I’d have to disagree with you both, as the most consistently good “go-to black actor”, if you want to phrase it that way, has been Morgan Freeman.

              • Ah Jeff.

                No, want a true go to black actor…The Best of them All. Denzel Washington.

                Morgan comes close, if you want an authority figure, or God.

                • Actually, I believe Denzel was just # 5 on the list of most overpayed actors, as his box office receipts do not justify how much he is being paid. His movies, as of late, have been under-performing.

                • Actually, Denzel is # 8 on the list, but still, he is in the top 10 of most overpaid actors, and IMO, most overrated, too. Here is a link…

                  http://www.businessinsider.com/hollywoods-10-most-overpaid-actors-2012-12?op=1

              • No, Hollywood’s current go to black guy is Jamie Fox.

          • Will Smith is a great actor. Sure, he’s shoved in our faces because he’s some kind of Hollywood hot shot, but the guy CAN act. His son though …. not so much.

            • Will Smith, had one good acting Role. The Pursuit of Happyness.

              Yes I know how to spell Happiness, that is how it is spelled in the movie.

              All other Movies, Bad Boys, Independence Day, Men in Black, Hancock, I, Robot, I am Legend. All pretty much the same, with a tweak here, and a tweak there. But he is still playing the same character, just different roles.

              To say he CAN Act is not a stretch, to say he is a well rounded ACTOR is the hard part.

        • You stopped watching his films because he’s “Hollywood’s go to black person”? I agree with the others. You win the award of Stupidest Online Comment. Congrats bro. That’s hardly a reason not to support his films. It’s not his fault that Hollywood is bigoted and gives roles to the same black actors all the time (jamie, will, morgan, etc).

  2. Can’t stand any of his work. The Village, Signs and The Happening are all laughable crap.
    I will not be seeing this movie.

  3. LOOKS LIKE AN AWSOME FILM!
    No one likes nepotism unless of course they’re benefitting from it!
    I love the fact that Will is getting his family into the business. Especially if that’s what his son wants. :) Go Smith family…

  4. As much of an appealing acting pair Will Smith and his son make (see pursuit of happyness if you dont believe me) I can never hold M. Night Shymalan in the same esteem again. Not after the Happening and Last Airbender. Sure the trailer looks good but hey, the trailer for Last Airbender looked pretty cool too and we all remember how that turned out…

  5. It looks good, but can we honestly trust M. Night anymore? His only film he didn’t screw up was The Sixth Sense (13 years ago!). Unbreakable was good until that stupid twist, Signs had some decent scenes but was too silly to take seriously (aliens can’t open a wooden door? seriously?) The Village was close to being great until that stupid stupid stupid twist. Lady in the Water was just a ridiculous film (but Paul Giamatti was great in it). The Happening was a modern day B-Movie, failing in every single level of film making. The Last Airbender was just as worse (and not to mention how he butchered a great tv show). How the hell can I trust him now?

    • @Bill Shannon thanks for that correction.. Lady in the water totally sucked too. I had omitted that film from my previous comment. I guess it was so bad my mind just tried to block the memory out. I actually enjoyed Unbreakable and Signs, but agree with you on all other fronts.

      • I also enjoyed Unbreakable and Signs, in addition to The Sixth Sense, but he hasn’t made anything since that I would watch twice.

      • I enjoyed Signs and Unbreakable also, but they both had some flaws that were difficult to ignore. The Village was such a beautifully haunting film (and I was extremely excited because I thought Night had gone back to his routes of vivid film making), until that twist revealed three quarters in: the elderly dress up in costumes to scare the villagers into their homes? what? lol, that’s ridiculous. And when I thought it couldn’t be anymore stupid, the village’s leader sends his blind daughter to find medicine for a man who’s life is at utter stake? where’s the logic? lol, He’s sending his blind daughter into a place with speeding cars on highways (things this girl doesn’t even knows exist!). Why couldn’t the leader go himself? lol

        • The Village is an allegory, like Pinocchio or Sleeping Beauty. It’s about post-9/11 fear-mongering and a critique on societal isolation.

          The elders tell stories to scare the villagers into doing what they say (propaganda). They dress up as monsters to give these stories an air of truth (scare-mongering). This is all done in an attempt to control the population; to stop them from going out into the world and experiencing life and learning about other cultures (manipulation as a comment on the government, religion, etc). It’s a monster movie (as advertised) with the elders as the monsters (literally and figuratively).

          The girl is blind (a metaphor for innocence, naivety, inexperience). She is blind to the horrors of the world and is therefore able to see kindness in others (the young park ranger). I think it’s significant that the young people in the village seems afflicted in some way. Ivy is blind, Noah is simple-minded, Lucius is shy and inexpressive. That’s because these characters haven’t been raised to function in the normal world; they’re maladjusted (in ways both positive and negative) by the experiment of the village.

          The issue people seem to have with Shyamalan is this insistence on watching his movies as if they were documentaries and not looking at them as thematic or even symbolic. The Sixth Sense isn’t just a ghost story; you can just as easily read it as a metaphor for childhood isolation, familial separation or a film about grief. As bad as his last two movies were, I’ve got to say I don’t think this guy really plans his movies to be taken so literally, but rather to have them broken down into a series of ideas and representations.

          He’s often said he makes art-house movies in blockbuster clothing (though that’s hard to believe when you look at The Last Airbender), which suggests that he wants people to look at the themes and the images rather than the stories and the characters.

          • @ Will

            Well-said, it’s for those reasons that I’ve always felt The Village was under-rated (in certain circles, that is).

            As for Last Airbender: honestly, it just felt like Shyamalan was out of his element there. To be fair, though, he’s not the first director to step outside his comfort zone and create something that comes off as incompetent (nor he will be last, I’m sure).

  6. I agree with what others have said. I enjoyed The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs. I also enjoyed parts of The Village. But nothing he’s done since has been good IMO. I doubt that I’ll see this movie.

  7. I don’t know why M. Night gets so much hate.Out of the 9 movies he directed only three sucked.(Lady in the water,The Happening and The Last Airbender.
    At least his other movies are original and waaaay better than most of the movies made now including those bunch of sequels,prequels,reboots,mindless action,grossed out comedies etc.
    I am among those who want him to be back to his best.
    And to the fact of nepotism,its actually Will Smith who is responsible not M.Night.Nowadays,Will adds a stipulation that along with me u have to hire either my son or my wife or else forget about me.

    • Signs has the biggest plot hole of all time…. aliens invade a planet that is largely water, yet they are deathly allergic to it. Stupid stuff.

      • The places indicated were far away from water and they were not their to invade but for the collection of some humans and that was a work of short amount of time

      • Well, a lot of movies have plot holes in them. The Dark Knight Rises for example…if you’re going to blow the bomb up anyway and kill everyone, why wait for months, thus allowing the opportunity to escape?

        • Jeff you should of watched TDKR properly before commenting, They had to wait months before the nuclear device could cave in on itself and turn into a bomb, thats why they had to wait, go watch it again.

          • Not interested in watching it again, but if I recall correctly, the villains had a detonator that they kept for some time, and it was indicated over and over again that they would blow everything up if any attempt were made at a rescue. Now, if they couldn’t blow everything up, you would think that many other experts in the field would know this, and an attempted rescue would be made…

            The movie was the theatrical version of the old campy TV show, wherein after a villain captures Batman, he puts him in some long, drawn-out death trap, thus allowing him the opportunity to escape, instead of just killing him. Plot hole.

        • yup i agree TDKR and Avengers both had plot holes but5 everyone adored them but why hate Signs,it was a beautifully crafted intelligent film

      • Gremlins has the same plot-logic as Signs, and no one cares. It’s barely even mentioned that the Gremlins multiply when wet but somehow manage to run around in two feet of snow without any issue. People just ignore it and enjoy the movie.

        It’s also never explicitly stated in the film that the aliens are allergic to water. One alien clearly reacts badly to the “contaminated” tap water that the little girl put out, but that’s not the same as being allergic. Clearly their weakness is liquid, not moisture or residue, so unless they jumped in a lake or decided to take a bath I don’t see the issue. Human beings travelled to the moon and we can’t even breath the atmosphere. And we did it just for the hell of it. Maybe the aliens were desperate.

        The only reason people mention the water thing so much in Signs is because it’s a convenient way of discrediting what is an otherwise enjoyable little sci-fi drama. Because otherwise there’s nothing actually “bad” about that movie. It’s well acted, well shot, well designed and has a great soundtrack. The suspense scenes are fantastic and as good as those in The Sixth Sense.

        Similar thing with The Village and its “twist.” Outside of the twist there’s nothing objectively “bad” about The Village, a film with impeccable photography, design, atmosphere, soundtrack and a great lead performance from Bryce Dallas Howard. Lady in the Water is more misguided than “bad”; clearly it’s a well made film on a technical level, just very silly. But the cracks really show through in his last two movies and this looks like it has the potential to be more of the same.

      • Totally moronic

        And the dialogs were really weak combined with juvenile premises.

  8. I hope After Earth is as good as it looks. Shyamalan has it in him!

  9. The theme is racial, all science is. Producers and writers need to be more transparent about government, social engineering and white patriarchal societal ills. The Matrix, Avatar, The Village and almost every film replace white patriarchal society with robots are lump it with the term “humanity” to mask the message.

    The films suggest a certain people cannot live in equilibrium with the surrounding environment, and can only survive by invading, spreading from area to area depleting all natural resources, and killing off other species to survive. These so-called humans are a threat and unlike other mammals they’re a virus. It doesn’t take a PhD to know their referring to Caucasians.

    The Alien theme is often linked to the human gods coming back to rescue, help save or destroy the maladaptive cancerous race. History tells us the gods were Pharoahs, Amorites/Babylonians, Cushites and indigenous Kings of the Ancient Near East. Those gods & even the Hebrew God/Elohim is said to return and restore equilibrium (disguised as intelligent beings from our past).

    Sci-Fi movies are largely based on that racial theme, it’s instinctual and mostly a rehash of the same ancient theme from Northern invasion (sea people, scythians and gentiles lit. Hellenes).

  10. Question: Is this Film an offshoot development project from the Swiss Family Robinson development that had been reported around 2009 by Disney that was supposed to cast the entire Smith family? Has the Swiss Family Robinson film development been abandoned? Thank for reading.