Shyamalan’s ‘One Thousand A.E.’ Script Polished Off By Oscar Winner

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 2nd, 2013 at 9:57 am,

Times are tough for filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, who’s on a (critical) losing streak – one that partially began with 2004′s The Village, but really picked up speed after Lady in the Water, The Happening, and The Last Airbender. Hence the reduction in anticipation for his next project: the post-apocalyptic sci-fi tale, One Thousand A.E..

One Thousand A.E. is actually based on an original screenplay by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) that was subsequently reworked by Shyamalan. Now, a third scriber has been recruited to polish off and refine the script even more.

Variety has confirmed that the most recent writer to take a stab at One Thousand A.E. is Stephen Gaghan, who won an Academy Award for penning Steven Soderbergh’s lauded 2000 ensemble crime flick, Traffic - he was also responsible for penning the acclaimed 2005 (politically-charged) drama/thriller, Syriana, and scripted the pilot episode for an upcoming NBC crime TV series, formerly titled S.I.L.A..

One Thousand A.E. is a futuristic sci-fi drama that revolves around a father and son pair (Will and Jaden Smith) who crash-land on Earth a millennium after humankind has abandoned the planet. When the crash leaves the father badly injured, his son must venture out into the (now, unfamiliar and mysterious) world, in the hopes of finding help.

Principal photography on One Thousand A.E. is slated to get underway by February 2012. Gaghan was reportedly “tasked with getting the [film's] script in shooting shape… and may continue to work with Shyamalan to fine-tune the current draft” before production on the project officially gets going.

Shyamalan has previously only directed scripts of his original creation, which already makes One Thousand A.E. somewhat of a departure for him. The poor reception for his last several films has seemingly left the auteur in more of a collaborative mood – something that (at this point) should only help to improve his standing.

When you also factor in the common criticism that – although Shyamalan is still generally regarded as an innovative storyteller – he struggles when it comes to writing dialogue and properly executing his ideas, the news that One Thousand A.E. will feature contributions by other well-regarded scribers is all the more welcome.

Who knows – maybe One Thousand A.E. will even be the movie that finally gets the majority of film buffs back on Shyamalan’s side. We shall see…


One Thousand A.E. is currently scheduled to arrive in U.S. theaters on June 7th, 2013.

Source: Variety

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  1. I welcome any news that he might come back to his previous success. As a fan, it really sucks when one of your favorite directors starts making godawful movies.
    Come on M. Night! Let’s do this!!

    • I agree! But I thought the Village was good but the Happening was TIRRIBLE and the Last Airbender was pretty bad. But I’m excited!

  2. Devil wasn’t that bad. Had a neat twist. Didn’t Shamaylan do that?

    • He Wrote the story

  3. The words ” reworked by Shyamalan” inspires only hopelessness.

  4. I’ve enjoyed every film of his, so far… although I was greatly disappointed by his Last Airbender film (I had just finished watching the entire animé series).

    The ONE thing that is seriously turning me off to this new film of his, however, is the pairing of Will “I exactly one expression” Smith, and his offspring as being the stars.

  5. Yea, I wasn’t so much turned off by MNS directing as I was Will Smith and son starring.

  6. No offense to M. Night fans but it’s been eleven years since Unbreakable in 2000, his last movie I thought was watchable and interesting. He jumped the shark, actually took a jet boat and launched over it. I no longer work up any excitement for his upcoming movies. What happened to such a promising director?

  7. Looking forward to it. I have enjoyed his movies.

  8. I think it’s always time to give them a chance. I mean, what harm could it do? Who knows what he might come up with?

    Although the fact that Will and Jaden Smith are starring concerns me, I’m, as always, willing to give this movie a try.

  9. I don’t care if he didn’t write this one or not. I’ll never watch another one of his movies after he completely ruined The Last Airbender. He had no business doing that movie. He should stick to his plot twist suspense movies which have sucked with the exception of the sixth sense and maybe unbreakable.

  10. oh hell no! i sure hope we get a lot of one liners out the smith clan. maybe a surprise cameo by marc anthony? oh, hell yes!

  11. Actually I like the concept…I have more confidence in this movie because the script is being re-written by Stephen Gaghan. Will Smith is hugely entertaining (I cant say the same for his son) He was annoying in the pursuit of happyness and I dident even watch the karate kid remake because I dont feel hes earned his right to make such high profile movies…other then being Will Smiths son.

    • Personally I would rather see willow smith in this movie…the Jaden. She has more likeability.

      • No one in that family is likable.

  12. When does a director go from a great director with a few bad films to a bad director with a few great films? After The Last Airbender I really feel he is a bad director who got lucky a few times.

    • Kinda like George Lucas IMHO.

      • Spot on

    • He’s had one great film (Sixth Sense) and one good film (Unbreakable). The rest were utter crap. Signs had potential but squandered it.

  13. The most overrated actor alive right now, his “no talent but famous only because of his father” son, and a hack director… an obvious pass for me.

  14. The story itself sounds interesting but the main people involved (both actors and director) leave me with a feeling of not caring.

  15. Ditto Mongoose’s sentiments…

  16. If a oscar winner “polished” a shyamalan script your actually saying some one was hired for a complete rewrite.

  17. Will Smith and his kid with Shalaman behind the wheel. Oh dear O_o

  18. actually sounds very intersting besides that runt thats staring.

  19. MNS seems to have lost his storytelling ability with his last batch of movies. The Village, Lady In The Water and The Happening were awful, and The Last Airbender was a mess. The only reason why Devil did okay was because he wasn’t directing it.

    While the story itself sounds promising, I wish someone else was working on ‘One Thousand A.E.’, instead of MNS and the Smith entertainment dynasty.

  20. This M. Night is a hack. I’m done with him.

  21. What about this doesn’t scream trainwreck? Even if Will Smith’s involvement bothers people MORE than M. Night that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook. AND the story doesn’t sound new at all. The original draft being written by the guy who wrote Book of Eli? that already was a post-apocolyptic movie. This could just be Book of Eli(Plan B), a rehash. People have short memories.

  22. The Happening really wasn’t happening at all, terrible movie. Look out, the tall grass will take you down! Sorry, his peak was ten years ago.

    • I agree, after watching the Happening at the Movie theater I left with a “Thats it?” look

      • I guess you can say that was the look I had; I would say my look was “Where the frack is Shamalamdadingdong?! I want my money back!”.

  23. Well, I can get on the Shammy-hating bandwagon; his movies have been crap since Signs (except I thought Last Airbender was OK, but I never saw the cartoon). Also, I think Will Smith is a very good actor; he just needs to try other roles, maybe an evil villain or something. And his son, I felt, did an admirable job in The Karate Kid (he wasn’t great but he wasn’t bad either (and the film, I felt, was better than the original)).

    I will wait for a SR review before making up my mind.

  24. Still waiting on will smith to do that movie about the nubian pharoah of Egypt: Pharaoh Taharqa who unified Egypt. Im hearing they are shooting it (i hope thats true) would be an interesting movie.