Official ‘After Earth’ Synopsis: M. Night Shyamalan’s Father-Son Sci-Fi Drama

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:00 pm,

after earth synopsis Official After Earth Synopsis: M. Night Shyamalans Father Son Sci Fi Drama

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).

M. Night Shyamalan returns with 'After Earth'

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

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  1. i’m calling it now.

    will smith: i am NOT your father.
    jaden: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    shyamalan: WHAT A TWEEEEEST!

    • The saddest thing is that I can see this happening.

  2. I wonder what the surprise twist at the end will be!??

    • the twist will be it was all really before earth

      • My thoughts exactly, it was a magic time asteroid that hits them.

  3. Sounds interesting.

    The only Shymalan movie I hated was The Last Airbender and I enjoyed The Book Of Eli so this should be great.

    I just hope Jaden is a better actor for this movie than he was in his previous films cause honestly, while he is a better actor than others who started young (Daniel Radcliffe is still a horrible actor even now in his 20s), he always seemed to give off this sense of entitlement with his characters and made me wanna slap him.

    Will I’ve never had issues with whatsoever but it’ll be interesting to see if all parties can pull off a movie that uses Will as the big draw but then relies completely on Jaden to make it work.

    • Concur with your opinion about Jaden. Although I don’t know if his character in The Karate Kid reboot was written as an instigator, because that is how he conveyed at times, I actually found myself disliking and rooting against him, and he impressed as being obnoxious during an interview with David Letterman. Hope his father has had a *talk* with him since then. Anyway, I won’t being seeing this one in the theater. Perhaps on DVD…

      • I was exactly the same and rooting for the Chinese kids to kick his ass in the tournament and on the streets. Jaden was the only unlikable thing about that movie.

        Same with The Day The Earth Stood Still, the movie was pretty good, I just hated Jaden’s whiny, self-centred acting that made his character less “I miss my dad and wish he could come back” and more “dammit everyone, look at me, why isn’t anyone paying any attention to me?”

        • I completely agree with the reference to Day the Earth Stood Still…EXCEPT:

          there IS one scene in that film that I REALLY think shows the kid DOES have potential. If only the directors could learn to handle the little brat.

          the scene in the military cemetery. it kills me every time I watch that movie (I’m really partial to disaster flicks).

          but in that single scene, he shows SUCH an incredible range of emotion, and such depth, that it almost makes me question whether there are twins in the film, one of whom got to shoot that cemetery scene, while the other brat did the rest of the film.

          • Haha, yeah, that was the only time I didn’t want Keanu or Klaatu to kill Jaden.

            He does the same cocky and arrogant portrayals as his dad and Shia LeBeouf, the only difference is that Shia is the only one of the three that can’t act and whose movies I refuse to watch no matter what.

    • Ah, so there are people who think Daniel Radcliffe can’t act. I thought everyone was too much of a fanboy of Harry Potter to see that (though I believe none of those kids in the Harry Potter movies can act) :D

      As for Jaden, yeah, I wish Will Smith would stop taking him in every movie he produces. Don’t really hate that boy, but surely no love for his acting skills to see him in so many movies. Let’s hope we are proven wrong in After Earth and he can pull it off.

      • Yeah, th kids in the Harry Potter movies were the only ones that couldn’t act, that’s why I’m so conflicted with that franchise because on the one hand you have the teachers/Death Eaters/other non-student characters (Alan Rickman, Natalia Tena, Sir Kenneth Branagh to name just three) and then you have…..Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates who are just horrible.

        Except for Tom Felton/Draco Malfoy, he’s turned out pretty decent.

  4. I like his Movies,so i am interested what he is doing next !
    At least he is more or less him self and tries stuff out…for the better or worse !

  5. I hated The Village and The Happening, other than that I’ve enjoyed to different degrees everything he’s made.

    I really really enjoyed DEVIL which seems everyone hated but I think he only produced that.

    Anyway, will check this out more than likely

  6. What the twists could be…They were actually on Earth all along! Or…They crash landed in a nature reserve! Or….His father was dead the whole time! Or….The plants did it! Or….Tommy Lee Jones pops up and shoots them both and then it fades out to the Men In Black theme song. You know, there are so many twists.

  7. I had some small hope for this movie (even though many of Shyamalan’s recent ventures have been lacking) but after reading the brief synopsis I think I will pass. I’m not really interested is watching a kid (especially Smith’s kid) struggle to be a “good soldier like his dad” in an unfamiliar and hostile environment.

  8. I think that the only thing more under-estimated than the publics growing disdain for Shyamalan is the publics growing disdan for Jaden Smith.

  9. The only one of his films I didn’t like was the happening, so I’m looking forward to this one. I don’t like to hate on people (actors/directors etc.) and keep an open mind, and am hoping this turns out to be a good one and makes the haters eat their words.

  10. “The general audience has soured.”

    I don’t think so. Maybe the “general audience” on these movie sites, but M. Night is brilliant. TSS, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village. All brilliant!

    • *cough* The Last Airbender *cough* Absolutely horrid show and only got a 6% on RT, now THAT is something.

      Brilliant directors can have slip-ups but a movie that bad is more than making a mediocre movie.

      • so one of his films was a real disaster (I agree, Airbender was not very good, sadly), and The Happening got incredibly mixed reviews, that went from luke-warm to very bad.

        but that isn’t everything he’s done.

        the guy is a natural film maker. watch the framing in Unbreakable. it is some of the most brilliant framing I’ve ever seen in a film. the subtlety, the complex subtext of it all. it’s quite worthy of Hitchcock at his very best.

        People have been hating on him since Unbreakable. And in my opinion, very unfairly.

        • For me his work has been very up and down. 6th Sense was his break out hit and Unbreakable was also pretty good but since then it’s been very mediocre. then we have The Last Airbender that was as bad and 6th sense was good. Devil brought us back up to the level of “ok” but not nearly enough to make up for the string of average movies and the Airbender travesty (many of the decisions HE personally made on this show were just bad on so many levels). You can’t make a make a movie that bad and not expect rammifications.

  11. @dazz- you do realize will smith was NOT in book of eli and denzel washington was right?

    • Err….yeah, of course. The article says the first draft of this was written by the guy who wrote The Book Of Eli, which is why i mentioned that movie because Screen Rant did first.

  12. I have yet to understand why Will and Jada don’t see anything wrong with over exposing their kids (at such young ages) and hoping to turn them into mini celebrities. It’s one thing if these kids want to get into acting or singing once they’re older but at 13 and 11 (or however old Willow is)just doesn’t seem right.

    • simple answer: Scientology

      • Ah yes, the ultimate scam. I wonder if Tom Cruise will leave it since its cost him his kid.

        • When it comes to scams, Scientology is nothing compared to other major religions.

  13. i was looking forward to this because i thought it was a will smith movie. but now that its more of a jaden smith movie im not so excited for it. still plan on seeing it though. Ive seen every will smith movie except 6 degrees of separation.

  14. The kids got some messed up looking eyes…

  15. I’m on the fence about this so far, since M. Night can be kind of hit and miss (mostly hit imo) but I didn’t think Jaden would take the reigns for the whole movie. I have nothing really against him even though he was annoying in TDTEST, I just hope he is able to bring more to his roles than his father’s usual schtick and mannerisms. It was pretty evident in The Karate Kid. Kind of like how James Franco’s little brother was basically his clone in 21 Jump Street. I’ll just reserve judgement for when this trailer hits.

  16. lets hope this film be better be good otherwise thsi is one of scymalans post sucess disasters

  17. You know what I want to see, a Shyamalan movie with no twist at the end.

    • you mean like The Happening? or Devil? or Airbender?

    • You mean like Praying with Anger, Wide Awake, Stuart Little, Signs, Lady in the Water, The Happening and The Last Airbender. All written by Shyamalan, all sans twist.

      • I think the “Twist” angle he started using didn’t take effect until after the Sixth Sense so anything made before that wouldn’t be included. As for the other films you listed, in case you haven’t seen them, which apparentally you havent here’s the “twists”. SIGNS – TWIST – Water kills them!!! Lady in the Water – Twist – Paul Giamatti was the protector the whole time!!! The Happening – Twist – It’s the plants that are forcing mass suicides!!! The Last Airbenfer – Twist – well, no twist there, it was just a very bad movie.

        So your “sans twist” argument is – TWIST – stupid.

        • I think you’re stretching the definition of a “twist”, which is supposed to surprise the audience and change our perception of everything that happened before. Not something that is established within the first twenty minutes (like in Signs and The Happening) or suggested by an early scene of dialogue (Cleveland was a doctor before his wife was murdered, he was always a ‘healer’, the story is his attempt to fulfil his obligation as a protector, something he couldn’t do for his wife). Saying any of these movies have a twist would be like saying Unbreakable had a twist if it contained a scene in the first twenty minutes of someone saying “you should really stay away from Elijah Price. He’s crazy. I’ve seen him hanging around the sites of numerous accidents”

          By your very loose definition, nearly every film by David Fincher has a twist (his first four movies for definite, and at least two more since), but folks don’t go around the internet bombarding every mention of his name with inane comments like “WHAT A TWIST!” Unfair double-standard if you ask me (which you didn’t).

          • A plot twist is a change in the expected direction or outcome of the plot of a novel, film, television series, comic, video game, or other work of fiction. It is a common practice in narration used to keep the interest of an audience, usually surprising them with a revelation. Some “twists” are foreshadowed and can thus be predicted by many viewers/readers, whereas others are a complete shock. – Wickepedia

            You sit corrected

            • Yeesh… wikipedia huh? OH! You’re trying to make us laugh! Hahaha thanks Mr. E! Ummm in case you’re not feebly trying to be funny, you may want to remember wikipedia, like any source or info, is written by mere humans, with flaws, like you or me. Definitive writing doesn’t make up for the fact that Jacob listed some movies you couldn’t address as having a twist, and dwelled on those that MAY have a twist, applying the wiki definition as you see fit. Plants killing people, aliens being vulnerable to water, are simply discoveries, not “twists”, since nobody says “plants can’t kill people”, or “well.. WATER certainly can’t help with anything!” in those films. Those are revelations, a word from your Wiki discovery, that we didn’t THINK of maybe, but hardly a PLOT TWIST. Plants can kill people, usually not going after them in Night’s way, but try eating some oleander. And we don’t know what can kill an alien, but water took out the wicked witch of the west, can put out fires without grease involved, and works pretty well separating a dog fight. Maybe unlikely choices, but a twist? Hardly. Just because the writers at wiki say that about a PLOT twist doesn’t mean those endings are twists. Point is, you have partial credit; not enough to say Jacobs “argument” is stupid.

  18. Booooooooooo

  19. Noooooooooo

  20. i actually wanted to see this movie because i figured Will Smith would be the main character now it seems his son is the main character and that Will Smith will only be in the movie for around 25 minutes. Sounds like the only reason they have Will Smith is just a marketing tactic.

  21. I feel like I have heard of a similar movie. Gosh, what was it called??? Titan A.E. perhaps?

    And having the sour taste of M.N.S.’s past films in my memory, I think that movie will still be better than this.

  22. I’m all for “Bring Your Kid To Work Day,” but this is a bit much, Will. Hopefully, all this parental involvement will help Jaden’s acting skills become less Patrick Wayne and more Jeff Bridges.

  23. Who honestly keeps giving this hack money to make films? So he’s done ruining his once promising career and he’s now set his sights on ruining the Smiths?
    Pass on this one.

  24. Sounds kinda boring, but I’ll give it a shot. Will Smith is awesome and his son was pretty good in Karate Kid…

  25. This is completely off topic, but why hasn’t Morgan Freeman won an award for being Morgan f**king Freeman?

  26. the twist……….they would from nova prime which is future new york city.they actually crash landed in the amazon rainforest, saw the indians. they taught him how to smoke weed. then he thinks he can fly by jumping of the mountain.

  27. First off I’m disregarding any comments from people who liked The Village (horrid movie with totally obvious “revelation”) or Lady in the Water (if it had been any more obvious then it would have had to involve s neon sign). People have come to expect some cheap twist or revelation at the end of one of his films – because he’s so overused it it’s become cliched, and he telegraphs them so much that you realise that what you’re watching won’t be what you think it is so why bother… skip to the twist/revelation and see if you were right so you don’t feel like you’ve been wasting your time for 3/4 of the movie.

  28. Whwt the heck was a saber toothed cat doing in the 30th century? and wouldn’t baboons already be extinct? and what’s the with all the alien junk mixed with large cats from the pliestocene era???

  29. Movie was entertaining except that a camera shadow was visible between 1:19:10 and 1:19:25….