M. Night Shyamalan's AFTER EARTH isn't due out until June 7, 2013, but Sony, perhaps feeling the need to generate a ripple of interest for this original sci-fi effort (boasting the writing efforts of Shyamalan, Gary Whitta and Academy Award-winner Stephen Gaghan), has just announced that the film will get a modest panel at next week's San Diego Comic Con. In doing so, they've given us our first substantial plot summary of the Will Smith/Jaden Smith vehicle. Here 'tis!
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.
So it's a dystopic vision of our post-Earth future in which wars are still being waged, and people really suck at naming their kids. Chilling.
Shyamalan's last film was the execrable THE LAST AIRBENDER, so it's pretty savvy of the studio to convene a Comic Con panel comprised of Whitta, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, the folks responsible for writing the prequel comic books (Robert Greenberger and Michael Friedman), and the writing the prequel novel (Peter David). Get people hooked on the universe a year out, and hope they can remember a time when Shyamalan made good movies. Best of luck!