First TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski releases Oblivion starring Tom Cruise in April, followed two months later by M. Night Shyamalan unveiling his own post-apocalyptic sci-fi action/drama featuring an A-list lead, in the form of After Earth.

Shyamalan’s project takes place one thousand years after humanity has evacuated Earth, as a legendary warrior (Will Smith) and his inexperienced son (Jaden Smith) crash-land on the planet surface – forcing the latter to prove himself and seek help for his injured father, by exploring a mysterious world populated by lifeforms which have evolved to protect themselves from the human race.

After Earth marks the first occasion where Shyamalan did not direct his own script; he instead used an original screenplay written by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) and subsequently revised by Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Candy Store). In addition to The Smiths (the former Fresh Prince and son, not the band), the cast includes Zoë Kravitz (X-Men: First Class), Oscar-nominee Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) and Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games).

Watch the new After Earth trailer, then check out the poster:

[Poster Removed at the Request of Columbia Pictures]

This second After Earth preview expands on the previous teaser by diving further into the father-son relationship, which serves as the core of Shyamalan’s sci-fi flick – on both the surface and a deeper thematic level, in keeping with the filmmaker’s traditional approach of using popcorn movies to explore heady philosophical ideas (to a fault, in his recent efforts). So far, though, Shyamalan seems to have brought his storytelling A-game to the table.

Meanwhile, the film’s vision of a long-abandoned Earth populated by creatures and flora stand apart as something evocative and relatively unique, even given certain similarities to recent sci-fi fare like Avatar. Could this indeed be the director’s long awaited return to form, after films like The Happening and The Last Airbender? Personally, I hope so, but I’m not willing to lay down money on that bet just yet.

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After Earth opens in U.S. theaters on June 7th, 2013.

Source: Sony Pictures