After Earth trailer must not know fear

Sony Pictures recently posted the very first trailer for its upcoming sci-fi adventure film.

Previously titled One Thousand AE, the film follows the story of a father and son who crash-land on a hostile future Earth, a thousand years after the population of Earth was forced to abandon the planet. The father is injured, and so the job of finding the ship’s rescue beacon within the far flung wreckage of the ship, falls to the son. Basically, it’s a classic ‘descent into hell’ storyline -the untried youth sent by his elder into a dangerously unknown place to retrieve an important artifact.

The father and son here are played by Will Smith and his real-life son Jaden. From what I can tell, the elder Smith is on the verge of aging out of action-heavy films.

M. Night Shyamalan directs the film. In recent years, Shyamalan’s star has faded, thanks to a lot of terrible, half-assed movies that didn’t live up to their initial premise. His first few films were good, but he started over-using his own style, and it began to creep poorly. When he screwed up The Last Airbender adaptation a few years back, he upset a lot of fans of the amazing cartoon serial.

Shyamalan didn’t write After Earth, however. It was penned by Gary Whitta, who also wrote the well received Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington. Stephen Gaghan, who penned Traffic, took a pass at the script as well, and the fact that Shyamalan didn’t write it means less possibility of a wobbly premise that won’t pay off at the end. One would assume there’s also going to be other people in the movie, but obviously Smith and son will carry much of the film, as the Earth seems to be unpopulated. I can only imagine that this must be the infamous director’s last chance. If Shyamalan screws this up, he will probably never again be trusted with a AAA title.

The updated synopsis is as follows:

A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.

After Earth is slated to hit theaters on June 13, 2013.