M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘One Thousand A.E.’ Retitled ‘After Earth’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:15 pm,

Onetime critical favorite (and now, widely berated) filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has officially joined Twitter. That move has allowed him to offer some additional details about his impending directorial effort, previously known as One Thousand A.E., a sci-fi film that will feature Jaden and Will Smith as (appropriately) a father-son duo who crash-land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, nearly a millennium after humankind has abandoned the planet.

The most significant piece of information Shyamalan has (so far) provided, with respect to the project, is that it has now been retitled After Earth – a move that, if nothing else, should help prevent any further associations being made between Shyamalan’s movie and animation legend Don Bluth’s infamous financial dud, Titan A.E..

Shyamalan revealed the new title of his latest project in a recent Tweet (note: you have to click and scroll, in order to see its content) and also re-confirmed previous reports that principal photography on After Earth is prepped to begin by February 2012. He also previously mentioned having storyboarded every shot in the film, resulting in some 676 different drawings.

Of course, Shyamalan’s films has never been widely criticized for their visual structure; if anything, even the man’s detractors would mostly agree that he has an excellent eye for shot composition and lovely cinematography. It’s his screenwriting abilities – specially, how he writes dialogue and executes his original ideas – and directing approach that has often landed Shyamalan in hot water, with many casual and professional cinephiles alike.

the last airbender review M. Night Shyamalans One Thousand A.E. Retitled After Earth

Shyamalan's 'The Last Airbender': Great Visuals, Poor Storytelling

Moviegoers who dislike the often slow-pacing and restrained (re: semi-wooden) performances generally found in Shyamalan’s directorial efforts have good reason to be less-than-enthused about After Earth - since, chances are good, that same filmmaking approach will be on-display therein.

However, this time around, the script isn’t being handled solely by Shyamalan; in fact, Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) wrote the original script draft, before Shyamalan did a rewrite. Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan is the most recent writer to try his hand at the After Earth screenplay and is reportedly going to continue polishing it until production officially begins.

That’s all to say: After Earth could end up being one of the best Shyamalan productions in recent memory, if only because the man appears to be in a much more collaborative mood now. Admittedly, given how his last two directorial efforts were received (see: The Happening and The Last Airbender… or, rather, don’t), that’s not exactly shocking news.

Still – accepting more creative input from others is something many people feel Shyamalan has needed to do for a while now. So, hopefully, that move will actually benefit him.


After Earth is tentatively scheduled to arrive in theaters around the U.S. on June 7th, 2013.

Source: M. Night Shyamalan (via /Film)

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  1. Cannot wait for this. I particularly like his storytelling in his movies with the exception of the last airbender.

  2. What a twist!

  3. no no no, ive had enough with m night shymalan, he ruined his career, he will next ruin the career of will smith and son jaden…im disappointed that will smith would even play in a movie by him, it doesn matter if he’s gonna get help writing it or not, well will smith you had a great career, once this movie comes out, its over

    • Uh huh.

  4. Shyamalan is like Lucas.
    He needs to be reined in, and not allowed to have total control. If they are a few people making sure his imagination doesn’t run wild, get’s help writing it, and gives the “twists” a break then it might be ok. I like his good movies, so I hope he comes out with more.

  5. I liked “Titan A.E.”!

    But that isn’t gonna help.

  6. All of his movies have great cinematography? Not “Last Airbender,” that’s for sure! Just look at the “fight scenes” in that movie and how they were shot. Awful.

  7. yes, because changing the title is the only thing that’s wrong with this movie.

    • One reason was by interjecting his own ideas and skewed reasoning into the equation. He decided to change the title characters name to “Aang” instead of Ang because it was the way it would sound in Asian languages. Or the fact that fire benders can’t bend w/o having a fire source (unless you are a master)

      Directors need to not screw with the source material and just follow it.

  8. Most be nice to be Jaden Smith.

  9. Am i the only person on earth who enjoyed last airbender it was good my faith in M niight shyamalan still stands he is a great director hope this does well.

    • I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best film but it was pretty solid.

    • I was discussing TLAB with a friend, he’s seen the entire animated series, I haven’t seen any of it. Now he was most unhappy about the film simply because he had seen the whole series, I think I was happy with the film because I hadn’t.

      The problem we both agreed on was that movie studios, unless they’re actually committed to making multiple films (although the end of TLAB was left open for an obvious sequel) then they want to squash any story down to a length that means they can get as many sessions in at the Cinema as possible. So I didn’t mind TLAB, I didn’t have the baggage of the series to prejudice my take on it.

      So in a way, although I haven’t seen the series I think I can appreciate the stories followers, but not having that to go on I think he did a good (well good enough) job.

  10. The Happening was quite good, except for the acting, but this sounds intriguing.

  11. I still have hope for him. I really enjoyed his earlier works than his later works.

  12. I liked all of his film, some more than the others. His storytelling is unique but I have to agree the dialogue he writes is pretty bland. The actors in his film do tend to be pretty stiff. Sometimes it works for him, sometimes it doesn’t.

  13. Is this a sequel to Wall-E

    • HA!

  14. I think he gets a bad rap. I liked everything but “Happening” and “Airbender”. His latest movie “Devil” isn’t mentioned above. That was pretty good.
    I like the “twists”. With Michael Bay you expect explosions, Joel Schumacher you expect butt shots, Steven Spielberg your expect self aware adolescents, Shyamalan you get twists. Deal with it.
    My prediction is Will Smith ends up being the “Adam” to our current generation of humanity. The ruins he finds are from a super ancient (ancient astronauts) generation of human kind. Something like that.

    • No the setting according to the script is that they crash land on earth a thousand years after it was abandoned, so it is set in the distant future..

  15. His last few films have been bad. The happening didn’t have a twist nor did airbender they just sucked! It almost seems like after the sixth sense did so well that he had to force a twist into every film. The village for instance had a terrible twist and signs had a pointless ending. If the reviews of this film are good then I might rent it but I’m not wasting my time at the cinema again!

  16. I think the fact that Will Smith is acting in this one means there’s a good chance this movie will be good. Will seems like an actor that reads scripts and doesn’t do movies just because of the pay. In Will and Tom Cruise I trust.

  17. He only ever made 3 good films, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs. I stopped going to see his films after watching The Village. Would have been much better if it had been some kind of supernatural thing going on, instead of a bunch of people who decide to live in the past and try to scare people into not leaving.

    Instead of going to all that trouble they could have just become Amish!

  18. He should only work with unknowns-seasoned actors clash with his style!

  19. Anyone know if TITAN A.E. is getting a Blu-Ray release?

  20. You couldn’t pay me enough to go to an M. Night Shyamalan film, and I could really use the money!

  21. I dont know why he gets such hate. It could be the lack of intellectual process required by most films these days has twisted people to having to think through a plot instead of having it handed to them. I dont know. With one or two exceptions, I love his work. Each one of his movies is different and has the perspective it has to help carry the storyline. It isnt redundant, and is certainly seen nowhere else. I eagerly await his sequel to avatar, if for no other reason, he kept the spirit of the story and characters intact, instead of butchering like some do to get the hype (Chronicles of Narnia anyone?)

  22. Shyamalan’s films get hate precisely because if you attempt to apply an “intellectual process” to the plots of any them for more than thirty seconds, they completely fall apart.
    Running from the wind?
    Ancient Korean fairy tales about narfs?
    Hundreds of people living in a nature preserve for decades and no one– not their families, friends, internal revenue– know that they’re there?
    Aliens who travel across the galaxy to attack a planet full of water, a substance that turns out to be harmful to them, without bringing any suits to protect them from hazardous elements?
    Shyamalan’s plots are certainly creative and different, but to say that they stimulate intellectual activity is a real stretch.