Smith, Smith Join Shyamalan for Sci-Fi

We’ve been playing “Smith, Smith, Shyamalan” around Reject HQ for years. Neil always wins for some reason. He’s a bigger dude, but he’s quick.

Now, the world will get to join in, because Will Smith and son Jaden Smith will be teaming with M. Night Shyamalan for a new science fiction feature which sees Earth a thousand years after humanity has abandoned it. Smith and Smith will play a father and son who return to the planet to find what must be desolation, death threats, and the body of Wall-E.

It’s too early to tell whether this will get off the ground before Smith’s other projects. In fact, it’s unlikely that it’ll be his return to the screen since his last appearance in Hancock three years ago. However, I’m excited for it.


Because I’m stupidly optimistic. Shyamalan has burned us all several times, but I still hold out hope that he can build a huge science fiction scare because I desperately want to see a huge science fiction scare. There are also factors reigning him in here – notably that he didn’t write the script (it was written by Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta), and Smith being a producer will put another powerful ego in the room to suppress some of Shyamalan’s more untenable whims.

The press release refers to it as untitled at this point, which means it’s shed the One Thousand A.E. title page. It’s also unclear whether this casting kills the rumors of Bruce Willis’s and Bradley Cooper’s (father and son? just kidding) involvement. Or if they’ll sign on alongside the paternal pair. Of if they were never involved to begin with.

Regardless, here’s a quick and dirty version of why I’m anticipating this movie:

  1. I’m foolishly hopeful.
  2. It’s an original science fiction film, and the world needs more of them.
  3. Will Smith and Jaden Smith had great chemistry in The Pursuit of Happyness (you’d hope so considering they’re family), and even if they’re mainstream sensibilities, both seem to possess the sensibilities to create a good performance.
  4. M. Night Shyamalan’s due, isn’t he? I sure hope so. He’s such a talented director, but he’s lost his way. That’s happened to talented filmmakers over the years, and if he can pull up before the plane completely crashes, and delivers a solid movie in the process, why not root for that?
  5. Gary Whitta already churned out a great (not really great) action sci-fi movie.

I’m not crazy for wishing this thing turns out to be stupendous, but maybe I’m crazy for thinking it has a chance at doing so.

What do you think?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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