|Directed by||M. Night Shyamalan|
|Produced by|| Caleeb Pinkett
Jada Pinkett Smith Will Smith James Lassiter
|Screenplay by|| Gary Whitta
M. Night Shyamalan
|Staring|| Jaden Smith|
In the near future, an environmental cataclysm forces the human race to abandon Earth and venture beyond the Solar System in search of a new home. The exodus ends when humanity settles a new pristine world they call Nova Prime.
One thousand years later, The Ranger Corps, a peacekeeping organization commanded by General Cypher Raige (Will Smith), comes into conflict with the S'krell, alien creatures that intended to conquer Nova Prime. Their secret weapon are the Ursas, large predatory creatures that hunt by 'sensing' fear. The Rangers struggle against the Ursas until Cypher learns how to completely suppress his fear, a technique called "ghosting". After teaching this technique to the other Rangers, he leads the Ranger Corps to victory.
Meanwhile, Cypher's son, Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith), blames himself for the death of his sister, Senshi (Zoë Kravitz), at the hands of an Ursa. Not wanting to fail his father again because of her death, Kitai trains hard to become a Ranger just like Cypher. His application for the Ranger Corps is rejected due to his recklessness, and Cypher views him as a disappointment. Kitai's mother, Faia (Sophie Okonedo), convinces Cypher to take Kitai on his last voyage before retirement.
Forced together by the mission, father and son start to bond during the trip. However, their spaceship is caught by an asteroid shower forcing them to crash-land on Earth, now a Class-1 quarantined planet. Both of Cypher's legs are broken, and the main emergency beacon has been damaged. Cypher instructs Kitai to locate the tail section of the ship which broke off during the plunge to the surface. Inside is the backup beacon which they can use to signal Nova Prime. Kitai is given Cypher's Ranger weapon, a wrist communicator and six oxygen capsules so he can breathe, since human lungs can no longer tolerate Earth's air. Cypher warns him to avoid the fauna and flora, which has mutated since humans left, and be careful with the planet's thermal shifts. Kitai sets off to find the tail section, with Cypher guiding him through the communicator.
Kitai is soon attacked by giant baboons and ends up being bitten by a poisonous leech after going against Cypher's orders in an attempt to escape. Although Kitai successfully administers an antidote, two of his oxygen capsules are damaged, and his nervous system shuts down for hours. When Kitai awakens, he narrowly escapes one of the planet's thermal shifts, and upon discovery of his damaged capsules, lies to Cypher. That night, Kitai listens to Cypher tell him a story of when he was attacked by an Ursa, how he realized that fear is merely an illusion created by the mind's thoughts of the future, and thus he first began to "ghost" himself from the Ursas, choosing to live rather than to let his enemy, both fear and the Ursas, decide his fate.
The following day, Kitai reaches a mountaintop, and Cypher learns about Kitai's broken oxygen capsules. Concluding that Kitai won't have enough oxygen, orders him to abort the mission. Believing his father still sees him as a disappointment, Kitai blames Senshi's death on Cypher, who was away from Nova Prime the day they were attacked. Determined to prove his father wrong, Kitai skydives from the mountaintop, but is captured by a massive condor which damages his forewam/wrist communicator in the process.
The condor takes a liking to Kitai, who is forced to flee when the condor's nest is attacked by tigers. Using a makeshift raft he continues his trek, during which Kitai has a dream about his sister. Senshi reassures him that Cypher's bitterness is just his own anger for not saving her. When Kitai wakes, he is surprised by another thermal shift, loses Cypher's weapon and nearly freezes to death. Fortunately, Kitai is rescued by the condor, that sacrifices itself for him.
Kitai reaches the tail section and retrieves the emergency beacon along with another communicator, another weapon and more oxygen capsules. The communicator only allows Cypher to hear and see Kitai, but not for Kitai to hear him. Kitai is shocked to learn the ship was carrying an Ursa meant to teach the cadets how to "ghost" themselves. The creature has escaped in the crash and killed the remnants of the crew. When the emergency beacon does not activate, Cypher realizes that the atmosphere is blocking the signal, and that Kitai must get to higher ground. Kitai heads to a nearby volcano from which he can launch the beacon, where he is attacked by the Ursa and injured. However, remembering both Cypher's instructions, focusing on the moment rather than the outcome, and the words of encouragement Senshi whispered in his dream, Kitai is able to control his fear and "ghost" himself from the Ursa enough to kill it with his weapon. Kitai then launches the beacon and a rescue mission soon arrives to return them to Nova Prime.
Cypher recovers from his injuries and salutes Kitai for his bravery.
- Jaden Smith as Kitai Raige
- Will Smith as Cypher Raige
- Isabelle Fuhrman as Rayna
- Sophie Okonedo as Faia Raige
- Zoë Isabella Kravitz as Senshi Raige
- David Denman as McQuarrie
- Kristofer Hivju as Security chief
- Gabriel Caste as Ranger
- Lincoln Lewis as Bo
- Chris Geere as Navigator
Will Smith conceived this story when he was watching the television show I Shouldn't Be Alive with his brother-in-law Caleeb Pinkett. It was originally not a science fiction story but about a father and son crashing their car in the mountains or some remote region, with the son having to go out and get rescue for his father. Will Smith then decided to change the setting to 1000 years in the future, which imposed a higher budget. Smith had his production company Overbrook contact Gary Whitta (who was then known for his script for The Book of Eli) with a simple log line for a movie: a father and son crash landed on Earth 1000 years after it had been abandoned by humankind. Impressed with his idea and excited about the opportunity to work with him, Whitta fleshed out Smith's idea and pitched it to him, subsequently becoming the first employee on the project.
A month after the release of The Last Airbender, Will Smith contacted M. Night Shyamalan on August 6 to wish him "Happy Birthday" and to persuade him to direct his movie with his son Jaden Smith as the star. Smith and Shyamalan had planned to work on a film before but it never worked out. Impressed with the entire script, Shyamalan officially made this project then entitled One Thousand A. E. his next directorial effort on October 20, and quietly shelved his own secret untitled project with Bruce Willis, Bradley Cooper, and Gwyneth Paltrow loosely attached. There was another starring role for an adult male, but sources indicated that Will Smith would not be taking it on. Sony Pictures Entertainment has a first-look deal with Overbrook, so it was expected to be the studio home for A.E. Shyamalan later suggested the film may feature other members of the Smith family, and that it may not be in 3D but he had "an idea for something kind of technically interesting."
In December 2011, Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony, signed Will Smith and son Jaden Smith to star in the film with Shyamalan directing. Shyamalan, who co-wrote the screenplay with Gary Whitta, will be producing the film with Overbrook’s James Lassiter, Smith, Ken Stovitz, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, made the announcement and said, "Night is an outstanding filmmaker who has a tremendous vision for this science-fiction adventure story and we couldn't be more excited to be working again with Jaden after our experiences on The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid," and added "We’re thrilled to have the two of them together on this project". Shyamalan also added, "The chance to make a scary, science-fiction film starring Jaden and Will is my dream project." Will Smith's decision to take on the starring adult male role required him to step aside in producing and starring in the Hurricane Katrina drama The American Can, and offered the lead role to Denzel Washington instead. The shooting of the movie was also pushed back from September 2011 to January 2012.
On July 25, Will Smith visited Costa Rica accompanied by an entourage of about 20 people, including Shyamalan, to scout for locations to shoot the film. They stayed at the Tabacón Grand Spa and Thermal Resort. They visited sites like the Arenal Volcano, hot springs and a lake, and some beaches. The executive secretary of the Foundation Arenal Volcano, Diego Quesada, accompanied Smith on a walk by the volcano on Monday and said, "Was half an hour. I talked with [Smith] and director M. Night Shyamalan of the film The Sixth Sense. We were told the park was very nice, I liked the view."
In September, Columbia committed to a June 7, 2013 release date. Shyamalan also scouted locations in Philadelphia. 50% of the filming was to take place at the new Sun Center Studios in Delaware County (Chester Township). Other locations would be in Costa Rica, Utah and Northern California. Shyamalan also visited Valley Forge Military Academy, known for the filming location for Taps, for research of the film then entitled "After Earth", as Jaden Smith would be playing a military cadet of the future.
The screenplay by Whitta and Shyamalan was later polished by Stephen Gaghan and Mark Boal. Principal photography for After Earth began in February 2012. Much of the filming took place in Costa Rica, Humboldt County, and Aston. After Earth was shot on Sony's CineAlta F65 camera, which was shipped in January 2012.
On April 19, Shyamalan announced that the release date has been moved a week early May 31, 2013.
On May 3, it was revealed that Korean-American singer, Jay Park, will be participating in the official soundtrack of the film in Korea, with a song titled "I Like to Party". On May 5, a 30-second snippet of the song was released with a trailer.
Initial marketing for After Earth began online with an Internet marketing campaign on Facebook and Google+, including a teaser trailer. Alongside the Facebook marketing is a Web 2.0 site that lets people "scroll" through different images and paragraphs in a complex dynamic way. An image of Jaden's character in costume was released online on February 15, 2012. Later in the year, a theatrical teaser was released alongside a trailer for the competing Joseph Kosinski film Oblivion. On March 12, a modified version of After Earth's theatrical teaser was released as the official trailer, and the official trailer was broadcast as a TV Spot during late May 2013.