M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth will be represented at this year’s Comic-Con. The intention is to generate positive buzz for the sci-fi feature, which should benefit from the box office draw of father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith. However, After Earth also has to overcome the general public’s attitude towards its director – which steadily soured during the 2000s, before it bottomed out with Shyamalan’s previous film, The Last Airbender.
Today, we have an official synopsis for After Earth. It’s no more spoiler-heavy than any other studio-sanctioned plot description. All the same: those who wish to know virtually nothing about Shyamalan’s new movie in advance should NOT read on (chances are, they didn’t even click on this article, but still…).
Here is the lowdown on After Earth (via Film O Filia):
In After Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (played by Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.
After Earth marks the rare occasion where Shyamalan is not directing his own screenplay (either original or adapted). Instead, the first script draft for After Earth was penned by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli); Shyamalan did some revisions thereafter, before Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic) was brought onboard to polish the script off. Nonetheless, After Earth sounds like a story that Shyamalan could’ve imagined on his own, as it uses a genre template in order to explore more meaningful ideas (partly, on a subtextual level).
Few people seem willing to defend Shyamalan’s recent output; especially, The Happening and Last Airbender (that’s true to a lesser degree with Lady in the Water). Speaking personally, though, this writer is a fan of items on Shyamalan’s post-Signs filmography (specifically, The Village and Devil, the latter of which he co-wrote and produced) and remains hopeful that After Earth will serve as his comeback.
The Smiths starring in After Earth should ensure a decent box office turnout; that’s in spite of how popular it’s become for certain film geeks to (for lack of a better word) hate on Will and Jaden. Again, this writer is not among them, and remains optimistic that the two will lend emotional resonance to Shyamalan’s father-son tale (much like they did with The Pursuit of Happyness).
After Earth is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on June 7th, 2013.
Source: Film O Filia