Will Smith is blessed with a natural charisma that can rescue even the most boring and hackneyed of cinematic material. Jaden Smith is his son, and well, it turns out that charisma isn’t genetic. While Smith the Younger kicked off his starring role work with a blunt force bash to Hollywood’s face (that would be thanks to his hit remake of The Karate Kid, which made nearly $360m in worldwide box office cash), his talent is still unproven (and, hey, the kid is still just thirteen-years-old, even I can recognize that), so the possibility of seeing Jaden acting alongside his dad in a big movie seemed like a good idea. Perhaps their natural chemistry would translate well to screen (after all, they were so cute together in The Pursuit of Happyness), and setting them up with a large scale sci-fi film seemed like a fine way to flex some talents and work on others.
So it’s too damn bad that M. Night Shyamalan‘s After Earth is apparently going to be much more Jaden-centric than we might have originally suspected.
Over at /Film, they’ve dug up (thanks to JoBlo) the official synopsis for After Earth, as detailed on the San Diego Comic-Con website. The film will have a panel at the upcoming convention (though the Smiths and Shyamalan will not be in attendance), and in support of that, the official plotline of the film has been released.
The possibly spoiler-laden synopsis reveals:
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.
Yup, it’s Jaden’s movie. Alrighty then. Let’s see how that pans out. (And, more importantly, let’s see what we learn at that Comic-Con panel.)
The Smith men joined the project over a year ago, with Zoe Kravitz and Sophie Okonedo coming on board to round out their family unit back in December. The film is currently slated to release on June 7, 2013.