The first trailer has arrived for the new sci-fi action adventure film, After Earth. It stars Will Smith and his real-life son Jaden who portray a father (legendary general Cypher Raige) and son (Kitai Raige) who crash-land on Earth, but it’s not the Earth we know. The planet has been quarantined, and for good reason. It’s a damned unhealthy place to be. After the crash landing, and with his father Cypher critically injured, Kitai must undertake a dangerous journey to signal for help. Along the way, he will face many dangers, including the terrain and animal species that have evolved to kill humans.
We like the idea of Will Smith and his son Jaden working together on a film. They worked together on The Pursuit of Happiness and we saw that father-and-son chemistry working well in that film, so it’s nice to think we’ll see more of that magic. We also like the idea of the director being M. Night Shyamalan, but for different reasons. Shyamalan thrilled us with his work on The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable directing Bruce Willis both times, but our interest in this case is mainly out of a desire to see Shyamalan redeem himself after the clenchingly horrible The Last Airbender in 2010. We know he can produce great cinema if he doesn’t wander off into the ham-handed cheesiness that stained his last film.
Principal photography began in February 2012. The script was originally written by Gary Whitta, rewritten by Shyamalan and finally polished by Stephen Gaghan in late 2011. Much of the filming took place in Costa Rica, Humboldt County, California, and Aston, Pennsylvania. Filming was done using Sony’s CineAlta F65 24p HD camera, which has only existed for about a year, and carries many of the features of a traditional 35mm film camera. (As an aside, we find it fascinating that most films are now not being shot on film at all, yet we still call them films.)