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We've Got A Detailed Plot Summary And Comic Con Plans For M. Night Shyamalan's AFTER EARTH!


Beaks here...

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!

Readers Talkback
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  • July 2, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    WHy are these things always round numbers?

    by Chairman_Kaga

    Why is it always 1000 years on the nose in the future?

  • July 2, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    In Shyamalan we trust

    by NuckyThompson

  • July 2, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by SirLoin

    Cypher Raige? That's a L. Ron Hubbard name right there.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:18 p.m. CST

    "In Shyamalan we trust" -- is that a joke?

    by Dursman2000

  • July 2, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    In Shyamalan we trust

    by ThaWhiteShadow

    that it will be a piece of shit movie.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Cypher Raige....

    by rapscallion86


  • July 2, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Titan AE...

    by Unscripted

    Sounds like MNS lifted his entire concept, name included, from Titan AE... which, although never explained in the final cut, stood for "After Earth"... MNS will have to have two or three highly lauded films before I will bother with anything he turns out, even on Netflix.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    The Props He's Getting

    by Aquatarkusman

    Are like the propping up of Bernie by Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:23 p.m. CST

    sounds like a quasi Terra Nova reboot

    by Titus05

    so the annoying kid Jaden is going to get all the screen time while his Dad is stuck in the cockpit the whole time?

  • This shit writes itself.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Sirloin, I thought the exact same thing...

    by RemoWilliams

  • July 2, 2012, 6:28 p.m. CST

    cue... at 35 minutes in...

    by fauns_bass_1

    cute CGI creature as Jaden Smith sidekick.

  • yep

  • guess so.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    fleshmachine nailed it

    by Raptor Jesus

    Shyamalan guarantees a crap movie. Will Smith doesn't help sell this, that's for sure. Jaden Smith? Kiss of death.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:34 p.m. CST

    It's really too bad

    by Cruizer Dave

    Shyamalan had so much potential, but he quickly became a one-trick pony (surprise plot twist at the end!), and then with Airbender, became a no-trick pony.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Welcome to Earf, Kitai

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    Shymalan is over. Saying its his comeback film is like saying every Farrelly Brothers movie this decade was their comeback picture. Talentless hacks.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Guilty Admission

    by mukhtabi

    I love Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. However, I discovered that tendency to greatly embrace these shows allowed my brain to cut Shyamalan a huge swath of slack. How huge? I watched The Last Airbender (his version) twice in the movie theater and not at matinee prices! To my great shame, I must admit I did not hate the movie, in fact I quite liked it. Even though it DID sap all the joy and life out of the story... Oy vey...

  • July 2, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Why do studios continue giving him money?

    by Crobran

    And are there still actors out there who will let themselves be attached to his projects?

  • July 2, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Will Smith is a soulless narcissist who is making his children the same way.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    I saw his awful little brat interviewed, and the kid is so full of himself already it made me puke all over my dog. The dog was happy to get some tasty burritos, but I was disgusted with the entitled attitude Jaden Smith presented. The whole family is disgusting. I wish I could barb my burritos on them instead of my dog.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    jaden smiff smells an oscar.-at long last.

    by vulturess

    good thing he's got final script approval.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:40 p.m. CST

    @ fauns_bass_1

    by I tried

    Holy hell you called it!!

  • July 2, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Why would you call the new Planet "Nova Prime"?

    by cookylamoo

    Unless it's named after the Marvel Comics Character.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    They were originally going to call it "New Detroit"

    by cookylamoo

  • July 2, 2012, 6:45 p.m. CST

    "Cypher Raige"

    by chronicallydepressedlemming

    I just puked.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Cypher Raige? Kitai?

    by Yelsaeb

    So just because its in the future, people have to have stupid names?

  • July 2, 2012, 6:48 p.m. CST

    I raise my burrito to you, Queefer. Well put.

    by AlienFanatic

  • July 2, 2012, 6:49 p.m. CST


    by I tried

    The names Cypher Raige and Kitai Rage are elusions to an Ancient Babylonian poem discovered around the time of Hammurabi (1900bce). Translated, the names mean 'Bullshit'

  • nobody remembers 'The Happening', The Village, Lady in the Water or Signs

  • July 2, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Guess what three things guar·an·tee that I don't see this movie?!?!

    by Therealumlaut

    Yes your right!

  • July 2, 2012, 6:53 p.m. CST

    the twist is... Earth has been taken over by apes!

    by Cobb05

    You know there's going to be a twist. A new society on Earth, Jaden is stuck on Earth and it's like castaway, but instead of Wilson the volleyball, he carries around Cypher's head. The thing that saves Cypher is a glass of water. You know the drill. Some stupid crap like that.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    i remember Lady in the Water

    by I tried


  • July 2, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    How 'bout we come up with the rest of the cast. (No peeking on IMDB)

    by AlienFanatic

    Jock Manbutter - Jaden's mortal enemy that stowed away aboard their ship and is now out to kill him. Let's all hope he succeeds. Played by Trey Smith. Incesta - Jaden's love interest, a survivor on Earth. Played by his sister, Willow. She can also see dead people that appear to be dressed as 18th century pilgrims, but who are actually aliens who have plotted with the trees and bushes to wipe out humanity. The Mutant - Played by Jada Pinkett-Smith. No makeup neecessary.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Has anyone read The Man Who Head Voices?

    by Cobb05

    It's amazing what a douchebag, ego maniac Night is. He blames everyone else for his movie sucking. He writes, directs and produces. It's your fault asshole. Learn how to tell a story. I hope this bombs and it's the nail in the coffin for Night.

  • July 2, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Here Kitai. Here Kitai Kitai. Would you like a bowl of milk?

    by cookylamoo

  • July 2, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CST

    'extended tour of duty'

    by Logan_1973

    Which implies a war or conflict. Against whom? And more importantly WHERE, since there is no more Earth with its bickering nations? Good God I've turned into The Boiler.

  • July 2, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    The real twist? People are actually gonna pay to see this piece of crap

    by Christian Sylvain

    For every film Shyamalamadingdong makes, a baby Scrunt dies in the wilderness. *weep

  • July 2, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I stopped reading when I got to Cypher Raige

    by ATARI

  • July 2, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Cypher Raige...

    by PlayerHater_of_the_year

    Wow. I'm actually looking foreward to the awefulness. The Happening was the single funniest movie I ever saw and I have a feeling this will be in that catagory. Will it have crying children every five minutes? Because thats how you show heart felt drama, overacting children who can't stop crying. I hope when this thing bombs he finally kills himself. Yeah I know thats mean but I can't help wanting it to happen.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:09 p.m. CST

    I'd forgotten about The Happening.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Wow, a movie as great as its title. Who is this hack blowing in the movie business that he keeps being allowed to make films? He must give one hell of a good blowjob.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Cypher Raige? LOLOLOL.....I bet this is Pluto Nash 2

    by Mel

  • July 2, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Sounds like someone with faux abandonment issues is about to learn

    by sweeneydave

    a valueable lesson about the importance of his father and what it means to be a man. I'll bet you my firstborn that "water" is going to play an important part somehow.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST


    by Queefer Sutherland

    I love your cast list. Probably closer to the truth than we'll ever know. Until one of the brats has a breakdown later in life and writes a tell-all book to pay for their drugs.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:22 p.m. CST

    "They called me Mister Raige!"

    by fanboy71

    Unbreakable is still one of my favorites, and Signs is still watchable, but everything after signs was a total piece of shit. But if this gets good buzz I may check it out. I'd like to see Night make a comeback and put out some good films. I still remember when he was being touted as the next Rod Serling.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:23 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius

    Don't hate me hipshot ... ;)

  • July 2, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST

    oof, cypher raige... nobody wants a case of that

    by Monnie Knapp

    It burns.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    They Can't Really Go With Cypher Raige Can They?

    by Crow3711

    That's just too bad to be real. It has to change, because I can't pay for a movie starring Cypher Raige and respect myself. Remove M. Night's reputation from this and it sounds like something I'd definitely be into seeing otherwise.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Plot is shit! Shayamalan is shit!

    by D o o d

    Repeat what I wrote above!

  • July 2, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    The Smiths

    by MrDark

    Started reading the summary..."Hmmm, sounds like Titan AE" ... "Will Smith..ehh" ... "..Jaden Smith" *stopped reading*. How much pull does Will Smith fucking have? Jesus Christ. His son is a terrible actor and has no business in front of a camera. Speaking of terrible, though, how many movies are they going to let Shayamalan screw up before they stop giving him a chance?

  • July 2, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Anyone want to bet, Smith says, "welcome to Earth"?

    by Tristan

    And as someone mentioned, water will play some factor, as well as the color, red. Seriously, i liked Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, so maybe this could be a comeback film.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Yeah. What stupid names. Why not quality names like...

    by Peter David

    Luke Skywalker. Darth Vader. Han Solo. (Napoleon Solo's brother?) Landa Calrissian Wedge Antilles Obi Wan Kenobi (WTF?) Princess Leia (Lay ya! Get it? Lay ya!) And Kara Thrace? Starbuck? Named after the coffee place? That's freaking hilarious! And Wesley Crusher? Geordi LaForge? These are hero names? Oh, and how about these howlers: Rick Dekard. Roy Batty. Hannibal CHEW, for God's sake? And oh my God,have you seen some of the other crap names attached to science fiction films? Snake Plisskin? Buckaroo Banzai? Abulurd Harkonnen. Meeklo Braca. Jesus Christ, can't ANYONE name characters anymore? It makes no sense. How could it possibly be that a thousand years hence, people have names that aren't used now? It's almost like...I don't's another time. Because of course in the 21st century, we're using all the same names that were popular a hundred, two hundred years ago. Baby names haven't changed one bit. Why, I'm sure the kindergartens are overflowing with kids named Philomena, Henrietta, Mildred, Bertram, Edmund, and Meriwether. Meanwhile "Madison" was non-existent as a girl's name until after "Splash" came out; by 2001 it was the second most popular girl's name in the United States. And yes, I'm on the panel, and yes, I'm working on the project, and yes, I know both Will and Jaden, and they're great guys (and Willow and Jada are sweet as well) so obviously I'm biased. None of which changes the fact that carping about the names of people a thousand years in the future in a science fiction film is idiotic. If you want to have an informed opinion and you're at the convention, come by the panel. 10 AM, Saturday. Room 6. You can hear from the scriptwriter, and Bob Greenberger, Mike Friedman and I can tell you how we developed a 300 page bible charting every aspect, every detail of the world of After Earth. How this will be THE most cohesive and thought out SF universe since Joe Straczynski mapped out B5. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back and reread some of the talk back postings predicting that Jaden's "Karate Kid" was going to bomb at the box office. PAD

  • July 2, 2012, 7:51 p.m. CST

    The only "comeback" Shamwowalyan is going to make...

    by Queefer Sutherland the cum he deposits on Jaden Smith's back.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Sorry. Should be Lando, not Landa. Lando is a much less silly name.

    by Peter David

  • July 2, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST


    by ClayG

    People who honestly think the name "Starbuck" came from the coffee place a) weren't alive in 1978, when the original show aired and the coffee place didn't exist, and b) have never read Melville's Moby Dick. Glen Larson had read Melville.

  • Fuck me, what a cretin.

  • People are making fun of Shalyman because he tries far, far too hard to make vapid films seem weighty. His plot contrivances, twists, and dramatic oversell are the reasons few of the TB'ers here will cut him any slack. Shalyman's been to the well so many times that it's not only dry, but he's pulling up buckets of dirt. We'll revisit this again once the movie is released and we'll see if the cynical TB'ers are wrong, or in fact your snarky counterpoints hold true.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    cypher raige..sounds like a shitty video game character

    by alienindisguise

    the twist is will smith's an android.

  • July 2, 2012, 8 p.m. CST

    "Peter David?" LOLLOLLOL

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Two first names? Who the fuck thought this up? Obviously somebody with absolutely no creativity.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST


    by JustinJump

    This guy won an Oscar once. Sweet fancy Moses.

  • This is the most hardened bunch of malcontents I've ever seen. The comments, though, are the best entertainment I've ever had while eating Cornflakes. As a person involved in the process, you have a tremendous amount invested in seeing it succeed. We, on the other hand, have no relationship with the stars nor do we get to interact with them in any meaningful way. At best, we get the TMZ treatment, which is about as useful as reading the labels on Smith's discarded hair dye bottles. As an outsider, it's hard to appreciate the rampant nepotism in Hollywood of which the Smiths are most certainly guilty. Yes, Karate Kid did quite well, but as any movie is an ensemble it's hard to argue that another child might have done just as well with the part, but without the benefit of mommy and daddy's production company. As far as Shalyman goes, we're just tired of the hype. I'm just as tired of the hype for J.J. Abrams's work, as I find he's not "the next Spielberg" that he so desperately wants to be. (Remember, Shalyman was compared to The Beard not that long ago.) Yeah, we're a cynical bunch but that name and the obvious nepotism are just stones in at least my craw. I used to love Smith's movies, but I'm in a period of serious, serious burnout at both his and his family's overexposure. There is, in fact, such a thing as too much of a good thing.

  • Do they keep on saying 'oh the last movie was a one off, this one will be a hit'...

  • July 2, 2012, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Peter David is fat

    by Demagog_Dog

    But right... Hiro Protagonist anyone?

  • July 2, 2012, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Aw, hell no, Kitai!

    by popmeow

    Welcome back to Earth!

  • July 2, 2012, 8:12 p.m. CST

    By the way, Peter David, I'll be at the panel.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Just to see the people behind this pile of shit, and to laugh loudly and obnoxiously when anybody tries to speak. I'll be thrown out, of course, but it will be worth it. See you in less than two weeks!

  • July 2, 2012, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Re: The Twist ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    Right after Jaden Smith manages to save his father and activate the rescue beacon, the screen freezes. The image becomes a badly drawn 8-bit graphic. The Nintendo logo is superimposed over this, with the words "Copyright 1988 Namco Ltd." underneath of it. We pull back from this image to reveal that it is a television screen. M. Night Shyamalan, playing himself, is sitting on a couch with a Nintendo controller in his hands. He throws the controller aside, disgusted, and mutters "Stupid video games!" FADE OUT.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:17 p.m. CST

    @queefer One has to at least respect PAD for his accomplishments

    by AlienFanatic

    I hadn't even heard of him before this TB, TBH, so I threw up Wikipedia and did a brief rundown. It does sound that, at least, he's a true geek with a passion for good SF. That's a massive feather in his cap as far as I'm concerned. (I'm not a comic book reader, so I can't really speak to the OTHER half of his repertoire.) That said, while Peter might be heavily involved in promoting the film nothing in the credits say that he had much of a say in the final product. I'm sure the novel will be solid, if Peter's credentials are as solid as they appear to be, but with Shyalaman's track record I am NOT hoping for much out of the film itself.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:21 p.m. CST


    by Queefer Sutherland

    I'm not taking PAD's body of work to task, only his whiney defense of Shamwowlayan and the narcissistic duo of Wiljaden Smith. And the fact that he has two first names.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    @bohdi71 Why Shyalaman movies continue to get made? $$$

    by AlienFanatic

    Figures are in production cost/worldwide gross. I used for research. The Happening - $48M/$163M The Last Airbender - $150M/$320M The Village - $60M/$256M Signs - $72M/$227M Unbreakable - $75M/$248M While his movies are often critically derided, they make money. It's really the same with guys like Tyler Perry. They have found an audience that will see their films no matter how bad the film really is and that is all the studios care about.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:25 p.m. CST

    What's going to happen:

    by Sodomy_Joe_Shitpants

    Young boy will meet some young girl, they will go on to be the new Adam and Eve and repopulate the Earth. Bright, shiney new beginning.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST

    After Birth.

    by Gary Makin

  • July 2, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Re: By The Way, Peter David ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    I stopped reading comic books and/or movie novelizations around the late Eighties, so I unfortunately think I missed out on about 100 percent of your career to date. HOWEVER, despite your protests that an "extensive universe bible was created" to give the movie's background more heft, I feel it only fair to point out that the last movie Shyamalan directed not only had a similarly fleshed-out universe, it was, in fact, based on a critically-acclaimed, multi-season-spanning popular children's television show (replete with comics and tie-in novels) and, uh, well, you know how that one turned out.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Kitai Raige?

    by Raymond Shaw

    Could have been worse, they could have named him Rhode ("The h is silent")

  • July 2, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Bad Kitai! That's MY pot pie!

    by DickBallsworth

    Because fuck it.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Peter David, the reason those names don't matter..

    by chronicallydepressedlemming

    is because Star Wars, for a start, is not science fiction. It is nothing to do with Earth. It is space fantasy adventure, and therefore gets some leeway. You're setting your movie as our future, if you want to make it a believable future - you should use real/decent names. You remember that Simpsons episode where Homer changes his name to Max Powers? That's what Cypher Raige sounds like: like your making a joke, poking fun at the genre you are shooting for. Kitai is actually ok, it's odd but it doesn't sound like someone made it up to sound cool or take the piss. Here's a freebie that will get you instant cred with sci-fi nerds; Foyle. Use it as a last name (in ref. to Alfred Bester's 'The Stars, My Destination'), that'll at least get the sci-fiers taking your movie seriously, instead of avoiding it thinking you are making fun of them. I'm sure you can come up with a better first name than Cypher. Also, another small thing that sometimes makes all the difference -set an actual date on it that isn't a round number. Make us *BELIEVE* this is a possible future. If I said to you: "I've got this story to tell you about a guy called MAX DAMAGE set in the year 3000" what kind of story would you think it is?

  • July 2, 2012, 8:39 p.m. CST


    by Queefer Sutherland

    I saw no attempt at conversation. Just a mewling defense of the film and the Smiths, then him signing off to go elsewhere. If he was starting a conversation, why hasn't he come back? Anyway, you have your approach, and I have mine. AICN isn't the place for intelligent conversation anyway. I gave up on that long ago. Now I'm just an ape like the rest of the people here, and I'm flinging my shit everywhere I can. Sorry.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:44 p.m. CST

    No apology necessary, Queef, we all know how the game is played

    by AlienFanatic

    Hell, without the over-the-top, crazy-haired, spittle-spewing, poo-flinging TB apes, AICN would be a desert. We can get better info on Latino Review, Deadline, or Hitfix, but they don't let people act like frat boys after an LSD and boilermaker binge.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:51 p.m. CST

    At first I thought it said "rescue bacon"

    by LitCrit621

    Couldn't understand why Will Smith's character would need that.

  • July 2, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Wasn't this an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation?

    by Acquanetta

    With Wesley and Picard in the Kitai/Cypher roles?

  • July 2, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    It's amazing how much I hate Shyamalan

    by David Duchovny

    considering how much I used to love him. He's the new George Lucas. He surrounds himself with a cadre of yes men--and then wonders why all his new movies are fucking shit on a stick.

  • July 2, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    @acquanetta Good call. That was the episode "Final Mission"

    by AlienFanatic

    I think that they might have considered calling this film "Final Mission" but they were worried it'd give Shyamalan-haters too much hope.

  • July 2, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST

    gmakin, beat me to it ...

    by DrMorbius

    mine was AFTER BEARF!

  • July 2, 2012, 9:18 p.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Nice to see the film get just a little love here. I saw it at the time, liked it, but everyone I know seemed to hate it, which signaled Shyamalan's post Sixth Sense fall from grace, but as a comic book fan (of course) I thought Unbreakable had some good stuff in it. I definitely won't call Shyamalan a visionary, but in some ways Unbreakable is one of the early signs of a rebirth of the superhero movie post-2000, i.e. an early "realistic take" on the genre, after superhero movies kind of died a campy death in the late 1990s. But Cypher Raige? My god for the sake of some company's ledger I hope someone involved in the production is reading this talkback. Nova Prime, Kitai? These names are ridiculous, and point backwards to a time when you could get away with that crap in a movie. And OMG please enough Will & Son.

  • And thats without constant crossovers and big promotions. Id recommend it to pretty much anyone

  • July 2, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Cypher Raige sounds like the title of a mid 90's rap song

    by MooseMalloy

  • July 2, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Cypher Raige

    by diseptikon

    Was the name of my original sci fi story character.....true story. Oh I was five when I wrote that....

  • July 2, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST

    I just put fresh feces in my mouth...

    by Skankardly

    and it tasted better than Cypher Raige rolling off the tongue.

  • July 2, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Notice, if you will..

    by Peter David

    That I responded to none of the comments about the director or the quality of the film. No matter how many people CLAIM that's what I did, I did not, in fact, do that. They just wrapped shooting; there's no film TO comment on. People can bitch about the director all they want, but ultimately none of it is going to mean a thing. Only what's on the screen will matter, and that's a year off. The ONLY thing I commented on was that bitching about the names was idiotic. That remains irrefutable. The history of science fiction is littered with unusual names. And, as I pointed out, look at names that we had a hundred years ago that no one uses, and names we have now that no one used back then. As for the Star Wars names, don't kid yourself. We all know that if AICN existed back in 1975 and the announcement went out that the director of "American Graffiti" was doing an homage to "Flash Gordon" due out in two years, you guys would stumbling over each other in your haste to make fun of heroes named "Skywalker," "Han Solo" and "Chewie." But the Internet didn't exist back then, and so the poor, poor fans were forced to actually SEE movies before forming opinions. And they got to know the characters and embrace them. Unfortunately here we are thirty-five years later, and an informed opinion is almost as antiquated as the names I listed above. And Snake Plissken is a stupid name. So is Buckaroo Banzai. For that matter, so is Indiana Jones. Great films, though. PAD

  • July 2, 2012, 9:49 p.m. CST

    When's the Star Wars re-boot with Will as Darth Vader and

    by Skankardly

    Jaden as Luke? I can see it now..."The Fresh Prince of Naboo"

  • July 2, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST

    If there is a twist...

    by Ivan_Mtl

    I'm thinking that if there is your typical M. Knight Shamalyandingdong "twist-ending," it will be that the story is actually taking place in Earth's distant past and not its future. The cataclysmic event is the same one that wiped out the dinosaurs, and Kitai's adventure somehow leads to the re-creation of mankind on Earth. I know, it's stupid and unoriginal... which is why I wouldn't put it past him.

  • July 2, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    The only name I have a problem with

    by Lummox JR M. Night Shyamalan.

  • July 2, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    What's really too bad

    by Peter David

    Is that they didn't name him "Ulric Raige." I mean, that would be indefensible. Who the hell would have a name like Ulric Raige? Oh...wait... PAD

  • July 2, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    im gonna go just to see will smith die

    by walt

    would stay for the whole movie if i knew his brat died too but ill walk out right after that scientology bastard dies so when is will coming out of the closet

  • July 2, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    i can almost imagine the twist...

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    earth will have been destroyed by a Canine revolution.

  • not a re-imagining of flash gordon and snake pliskin is a hell of a name...especially since snake is not his real name aicn didnt exist...but fanzines did, and more than a few got word of star wars and fan buzz was very good see, we didnt have sci fi fantasy films coming out of our asses, so we didnt and couldnt judge names but when the prequels came out.....come on...count dooku? and you just dissed the great buckaroo banzai...for that you must do penance you must give spoilers on something you are working on

  • July 2, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST


    by andymillman

    Kudos mate. I couldn't give two shits any more about Night, or the Smiths for that matter and I am dead over modern sci-fi. However, as an Aussie I respect your fight and I will see this film for that reason only.

  • i will be GENUINELY shocked if he has an original twist up his sleeve that he DIDN'T crib from an episode of twilight zone. ..and if there is no twist at all, I can't forsee this being an interesting tale. so it's lose/lose: 1) no twist- it will kind of suck. good sci-fi ALWAYS has a twist or 'oh shit NOW i get it' moment 2) he's probably only capable of the one twist we all already assume he's use and the nearly impossible third option, he does something new and unexpected- the downsides of which are- it's still a Smith family nepotismfest, and the names are 80'd genre spoof ridiculous.

  • July 2, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Oops, SIGNS not SINGS

    by 3D-Man

  • July 2, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    The Talent Around M. NIght This Time is Impressive

    by Aquatarkusman

    Will he be restrained in a Hannibal Lecter-type straitjacket-n'-dolly to keep him from fucking it all up?

  • July 2, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    If this movie surprises everybody and I hear good word about it

    by Queefer Sutherland

    then I'll gladly eat crow and go see it, and support it. I WANT to support new science fiction. I saw John Carter three times, damn it! Part of my shit-flinging attitude comes from really liking the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. They had some serious flaws, but I really liked their style of storytelling. After that, M. Night really started screwing the pooch, and my disappointment is reflected here in my Mr. Hyde attitude. Having seen MNS do good movies, I think he can do better than he has done for a long time, and I don't quite understand it. Really, in my everyday life, I'm not a giant fucker like I am here at times. I freely make use of the anonymity to let my monster out. I apologize to Peter David for being such a bitch, but my feelings toward M. Night and the Smiths hasn't changed.

  • it's an easy and cheap way to film someone running around the woods, jungle, desert or quarry for two hours, trying to find a macguffin. minimal set budget. like every episode of stargate sg1 ever.

  • July 2, 2012, 10:46 p.m. CST

    All the people obsessing about "twists"

    by Peter David

    You get that those were signatures of films that he wrote, right? And he didn't write AFTER EARTH. Final credits are yet to be settled, of course, but the story and initial screenwriter was Gary Whitta. So assuming that it will follow the lead of previous Night films is based on nothing except of uninformed supposition. That's why we're doing the panel. To provide actual information. PAD

  • July 2, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Thank you. Loved Australia and New Zealand a couple years ago when my family and I went there for a convention. PAD

  • i HOPE we have some return of vocabulary and interesting names in the next 1000 years...but the truth is, no one uses the word cypher NOW, and we are only getting dumber as a breeding, baby naming species. The way we text, name our kids after soap opera characters, popular actors, and electronic equipment (Nokia was a HUGE name boom for urban kids in the 90's and early 2000's, btw- look it up), i seriously doubt that 1000 years from now we are going to dig up some pearl like 'Cypher' (and especially spelled true to form) for a name. If we are lucky, we will still be alive to grunt out baby names like LOL, OMG and WTF

  • the goofiest name peter put in that script was buteo and not one of his daughters has a wacky name i just think he wants will to look stupid....good

  • July 2, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    prndlgirl said it beautifully

    by Queefer Sutherland

    I haven't spoken on the name, issue, so allow me to fling a little more feces in everybody's general direction. Cypher Raige is name that sound like it came straight out of a video game, a comic book, or bad fan fiction. It makes me wonder if they really want this movie to be taken seriously. It isn't cool, it isn't clever, it isn't deep, it's just kind of stupid. And even while I no longer expect cool, clever or deep from Will Smith or M. Night, I'd like to see it. I'd like for them to surprise me and make something really vital instead of just going through the motions and wrapping their turd in silk, like they have both done the past ten years or more. So surprise me. I want that. I'm ready for it. But I won't believe it until I've seen it. So for now, I'm going to scoff.

  • July 2, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    'That's why we're doing the panel. To provide actual information.'


    aka- to get the word out that the movie may not be a total disaster because of recently growing Shamalamadingdong touch of death. I wish you all well, and am truly sorry you'll have to have a panel to convince people that this won't suck, because that's what the director's name is now associated with.

  • this is what we do. we are given a smidgen of info, and we wildly speculate based on past examples and our opinions of, lots of us are tired of will smith, scientology, nepotism, earth past/future movies that add nothing new to sci-fi, M. Night, etc. so we are going to go crazy when they are all in alignment.... and you are to valuable and busy of a creator of entertainment to waste your time standing on the shore, punching at waves to try and change the direction of the tide.

  • July 2, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    Titan A.E.

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • July 2, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    This sounds like A BOY AND HIS DOG

    by atlatl

    but without the rampant rape, and the talking dog.

  • So you are saying this movie is tongue-in-cheek like Escape from New York and Buckaroo Banzai then? Or are you saying its a family adventure homage to the pulp era?

  • July 2, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    zombot have you ever read, but i digress?

    by walt

    mr david made his mark being an amazing troll of course he needs to defend himself but he will always be my hero for being one of the first to rip the shite out of liefield

  • July 2, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST

    HOW the fuck do you screw up a Last Airbender adaptation?!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Shamalan was handed the PERFECT "get out of career jail free" card imaginable, and made every bad choice imaginable with that film. Casting a multi-ethnic animated series with gloomy white kids, casting one of the "kids" with an actor who was about 27 at the time, so all of "Soak-a"'s scenes with his "sister" Katara felt more like a really young father with his daughter, not pronouncing ONE character name correctly (honestly, "Ong"?), compressing 8+ hours of televison into barely 100 minutes' worth of cliff's notes excerpts, a complete lack of whimsy and joy...ugh. And I didn't even HATE the movie as much as Shyamalan's truly loathsome Lady In The Water and The Happening, but it SHOULD have been a lucrative franchise on the order of Harry Potter, Twilight or Hunger Games, and he totally whiffed the chance. And, even worse, NO ONE will attempt to make another Avatar film for the forseeable future (unless someone adapts Legend Of Korra).

  • July 2, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST

    young black Katai meets some albino or white earth survivor gal..


    maybe her tribe is dying out, unable to reproduce, they need outside genes....or maybe they are crash-landed, sexually compatible aliens.....and together they are the adam and eve that start all the other races. dollars to donuts. reminds me of an old short sci-fi story i read where we get a message from approaching 'aliens' who are actually humans who escaped a cataclysm and virus in our ancient earth past by escaping to a 'nearby' compatible planet- but some humans were left behind here on earth. so they contact us in-transit and are announcing they are returning because they are curious and worried about those they left behind--- and they want to bring us up to technological speed- and also that they now have a cure for the disease that plagued them before, in the event that we are still white. (which was the disease). A brilliant, short, retro twist story that i reallllly have a feeling is somehow related to this movie.

  • July 2, 2012, 11:23 p.m. CST

    and if a lot of my statements seem to be about race-


    it's because i can't think of ONE will Smith movie where race wasn't a crucial element of his character- whether he was playing a fish out of water black stereotype like in Men In Black or Wild Wild West, or playing black men of historical importance in his more serious roles.... Will Smith has never played 'just a guy...that also happens to be black' -except for MAYBE the horrid "I Am Legend' where race was not a plot device or character motivator.

  • July 2, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    I'll simply say this:

    by Peter David

    Every single speculation on what happens is dead wrong. The tongue in cheek ones. The serious ones. All wrong. Not even close. Prndgirl: I thought "The Village" was okay, not great, with some good performances but a predictable outcome. "Signs" was well made but had a deeply flawed story. Never saw the other two. But I loved "Unbreakable," and I loved "Sixth Sense," even though I figured it out while Bruce Willis was sitting on the park bench during the beginning. PAD

  • I'll Support Cypher Raige if the whole movie shows language has evolved. Like even more than Clockwork Orange language. Then maybe Cipher and Cypher aren't in common usage and became names. Sort of like how people today are named Cooper and Mason. BUT if Will Smith just talks like Will Smith then it's a bullshit name that a shitty name generator cooked up. It's like M. Night typed in "Mysterious Warrior" and the computer spat out: Mysterious. Hidden Meaning. = Cipher. Warrior. Battle. = Rage. Future Spelling = Cypher Raige.

  • July 2, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    This boy actually pisses me off

    by Jimbo Jones

    The only thing I can think of is when I watched Kung-Fu Kid, I was CHEERING for the Chinese bully kids. I hoped they would kick that kid's ass. I've never seen such an arrogant child on the screen. Count me way out.

  • July 2, 2012, 11:36 p.m. CST

    "hope they can remember a time when Shyamalan made good movies."?

    by Party_Animal_IV

    I don't remember a time when Shyamalan made good movies. There may have been one that was almost as interesting as an episode of Terra Nova. Then there's that one which is a toss up with Cop Out for worst Bruce Willis flick but without the jokes. Nope, still coming up blank on a time when Shyamalan made a good movie.

  • Because he consistently makes movies that make a shit ton of money. He hasn't made a financial bomb since The Sixth Sense. And big studio efforts are all about the business of making shit tons of money.

  • July 2, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Neither Smith isn't even as tough as Snake Plissken's left nut

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

  • July 2, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Me English not so good....

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

  • July 2, 2012, 11:47 p.m. CST


    by Queefer Sutherland

    Yeah, that Smith brat is insufferable. Will and Jada are raising a fine young narcissist. The kid will probably turn out to be a sociopath with an intense feeling of entitlement. I don't know about their daughter. Maybe she's just the same. It wouldn't be a surprise.

  • July 2, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    My daughters' names

    by Peter David

    Shana isn't all that common. In fact, her great grandmother hated the name because it means "Pretty" and she felt we were tempting the evil eye. My second daughter is named Guinevere. My third is Ariel, named after the Disney mermaid. Only my youngest, Caroline, has a fairly sedate name. I have no idea whence the writer came up with the names, although I can assure you it wasn't intended to reference "Ulric Raige." I simply brought that up because people were contending Cypher's name was unrealistic. So I did a one minute search and came up with a real name that doesn't sound any more absurd than the fictional one. And you guys can rationalize all you want why heroes named Snake and Buckaroo and Indiana and Han Solo are oh-so-spiffy. But we all know that it's after-the-fact justification and if AICN were around when those films were coming up, you'd have been dog piling on with great eagerness. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, midnight CST

    M. Night Shyamalan is a freakin' Jedi Master !

    by mister death

    These movies were highly regarded, well written and made lots and lots of money...The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening and The Last Airbender. Now let him direct this other big budget movie...move along...move along. <sarcasm over> I don't know how he does it. If it's not Jedi mind tricks, he has a time machine and takes studio execs back to the year 1999 when The Sixth Sense came out. Then pitches his next deal. Kudos to 'em for staying employed !

  • July 3, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST

    PAD, saying that other names were also stupid...

    by Queefer Sutherland not a good excuse to continue the tradition. Many of the movies you name are quite old, byw, and I would hope that we'd grown beyond the stupid name thing. Continuing to defend it only makes you look as petty as the rest of us. Do you REALLY want to fit in here?

  • July 3, 2012, 12:13 a.m. CST

    wanna cypher?

    by berserkrl

    Let's hope Cypher Raige gets to fight Darth Angrii!

  • July 3, 2012, 12:19 a.m. CST

    My daughters' names

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

    My oldest is Listerine. My second oldest is Tequilla My middle daughter is Camarolina My second youngest is Toiletta My baby girl is Beretta Thank you for letting me share my beautiful daughters' names. Not sure what this has to do with the topic but WTF.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Congratulations Peter David

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    You're officially a cunt of boborci proportions. There's an art to creating a memorable name. And this from a guy who doesn't even have a issue with the names in After Earth. I'm the first to admit any of the thundering cuntbags around here who called out Cypher Raige as being a shit name can all go choke on a vat of diseased moose dicks in celebration of our nation's independence. By your logic, Popeye Doyle is a stupid name. But guess what, you can say Popeye Doyle to the odd person who hasn't even seen the French Connection films and they'll know exactly what you're talking about. There's something about that name and the whole persona, the hat included, that encapsulates the character and makes them memorable beyond their on screen actions. Same thing with Indiana Jones. Put it into context with the fedora, the fact that it was meant to hearken back to the serialized cliffhangers of the 40s and it suddenly becomes a damn near transcendental name. And you discredit the true movie loving nerd community by suggesting that if AICN existed in 1981 when Raiders came out that we would scoff at the name Indiana Jones. And guess what? Marion Ravenwood and Marcus Brody? Great names too. Names that you truly love seeing on the page the first time you read a script because you know the writers appreciated the art of cultivating a roll of the tongue name the way a brewmaster knows exactly ingredients to add to an IPA to make it stand above the other 10 it shares the shelf with. Seriously, Peter. You're a jackass. And a punk. If you had a shred a dignity, you could defend YOUR choices without having to bring other films into the discussion. You're like a wounded animal trapped at the back of it's cage. You're an embarrassment. Now, as my friend Mr. Dickblood would say, open up, say "ahhhhhh!" and gargle my piss. Fuck off and have a great 4th of July you goddamn hack.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:26 a.m. CST

    I have a vewy gweat fwiend in Wome called 'Biggus Dickus'

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

    All the great film names have been taken.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    I have a vewy gweat fwiend in Wome called 'Biggus Dickus'

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

    All the great film names have been taken.

  • DIE.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Sorry, Petey, Indiana Jones is a great name.

    by dead youngling

  • July 3, 2012, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Sorry, Petey, Indiana Jones is a great name.

    by dead youngling

  • July 3, 2012, 12:42 a.m. CST

    By the way, the Karate Kid did bomb at the box office

    by Mel

    A kids movie making under $200,000,000 = bomb.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Cypher Raige--FIGHT! Yep, Mortal Kombat, baby.

    by dead youngling

  • July 3, 2012, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Pete, make an indie comic and call protagonist Dick Sandwich.

    by dead youngling

  • July 3, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    I liked it when Dennis Quaid and Louis Gosset Jr. did it better

    by zillabeast

  • July 3, 2012, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Cheesy sci-fi and fantasy names

    by lv_426

    Some of my favorite ultra-cheesy ones: Jeriko One (Strange Days) Simon Phoenix and John Spartan (Demolition Man) John Matrix (Commando) Now, Commando is just good cheesy over-the-top fun, so John Matrix as a name doesn't bother me all too much. Demolition Man is along the same lines, good over-the-top, semi-satirical silly sci-fi/action cheese. Jeriko One from Strange Days is ultra cheesy, but maybe skates by on the fact that the character is a famous rapper in the film. Not great, but it also isn't the main character. Now, names from stuff like Star Wars or The Matrix trilogy are fine as is. These are comic book larger than life style worlds, where names like Luke Skywalker or Morpheus work fine. Hell, in The Matrix, the names are hacker handles/codenames, as we know people born inside the matrix have mundane sounding names like Thomas Anderson. Also, something like The Matrix is well thought out in that they were using the stylish names in sort of a superhero context as well. I think with After Earth, if Shyamalan is going for a more serious style sci-fi adventure tone, then Cypher Raige is a bit too cheesy maybe. Now, if it is a rollicking space opera style film, ala Firely or Star Wars, then maybe the name won't stick out so much. I honestly don't know enough about the film to judge yet, but the name Cypher Raige doesn't inspire confidence just yet. Hopefully it will be a good film and the name will not be a problem. I'd like to see a trailer for this, as I've been an M. Night defender for some time, but even now am losing my enthusiasm for his work. After The Happening I am wondering if he has gone a bit bonkers after all. I loved Sixth Sense and Signs, liked The Village well enough, and thought Lady in the Water was a wonky but kind of interesting piece of work. I really love Unbreakable though. That one is still his best film. Anyways, I'm not exactly thrilled that it sounds like Will Smith is the supporting role to his son in this one. Ever since we've been hearing of this, it seems to have been sold as a Will Smith/M. Night film, with Jaden Smith as a supporting role.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:56 a.m. CST

    by Jacob Underhill

    In After Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, MacGuffin One has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Trust Blackman (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, Bankable (played by Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Trust and Bankable’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Bankable must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, bankable has wanted nothing more than to be an "actor" like his father. Today, he gets his chance.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Whoops, Raige is a girl's name: Baby names info for RAIGE:

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Baby names info for RAIGE: Gender: girl Syllables: 1 Characters: 5 Pronunciation: Origin and Meaning: American : high spirited Baby Names Popularity: RAIGE does not currently rank in the top 1000 names in the United States.

  • It is that amateur or inexperienced writers fall prey to this, not multimillion dollar earning novelists or screenwriters. I am getting the sense that people feel that M. Night should know better than to use such a name as Cypher Raige. Hell, we've all thought up silly retarded sounding names. Some of my past character name clunkers: Sage Wunderkind (a wise old wizard) Tyrus Rex (time travelling warrior stuck in the age of dinosaurs) Lucius Lancelot (combination of Lucius Vorenus from Rome with Sir Lancelot of Arthurian legend) Abby Rynthe (hacker chick in some unwritten shit cyberpunk story whose title and premise I can't recall) Vax Penthrax (I have no idea what it means, but it sounds cool, like some bad ass dragonslayer name) Agents Wright and Rong (I shit you not, these were the last names of the two protagonists in this retarded dark sci-fi/buddy action flick script I attempted about the Men in Black... not the Will Smith type of all ages MIB... Rong was of course asian) Now, these are mostly from stories I never finished, or got partway through before realizing it was all shit and best to scrap said shit story and not waste more time. Of course, some schmuck sitting writing fan fic or scripts and stories just for shits and giggles is one thing, but some mega-millionaire Hollywood hotshot like M. Night might be expected to know better. I think that is were the nerd rage is coming from. Not only do people feel like M. Night has been trolling them for the last few movies, now it seems like he is blatantly giving them the finger here. Just to be clear, I'll take Vax Penthrax over Cypher Raige anyday.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:19 a.m. CST

    @3d-man -- "Oops, SIGNS not SINGS"

    by lv_426

    SINGS. The new musical from M. Night Shyamalan. Starring Bruce Willis, Sam Jackson, Mel Gibson, and Marc Wahlberg Special Guest Appearance by: Paul Giamatti as stuttering Cleveland Heep. Summer 2015.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Also, speaking of Signs

    by lv_426

    Is it just me or is it strange that both Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix seemed to have gone bonkers after working with MNS on Signs?

  • July 3, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST

    M Night is a Hack

    by D o o d

    And forever we shall mock his name in the great big halls of theatre!

  • Although, I could also see Cypher Raige as the name of some burly soldier for the next Gears of War game. Marcus Fenix and Cypher Raige.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:47 a.m. CST


    by KGersen

    Cypher = he is a mystery, has a secret Raige = err, he has rage Someone with a secret that has caused him to rage! Taken from the George Lucas Guide to Bullshit Names For Suggesting Motivations I have no problem with Will Smith trying to do the best for his family. This is a long Hollywood (and all other spheres of life) tradition. I also believe the Old Fresh Prince and his son can do some good films if given the right material. I also liked the first 2 M Night films. But if this is any good, I will eat my hat. The crap film sensors are tingling good and proper.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:47 a.m. CST

    When the man is good....

    by the1980mutant

    He's great. Although he has #$%^#$ up quite a bit. This sounds like either possible good flick or a disaster. After the last three, I just wonder how he can make movies. It's hard to make films and a directors has lot of wait, but The Happening, The Village and Last AirBender are forms of autism. I've never seen a 6 year old get mad at a film. I am not even going to discuss Lady in the Water, although its AWESOME on LSD. The only time I did drugs in the past 8 years.

  • about just one or two telling us what you think of Shyamalan, which is the real crux of the talkback venom. The Happening? Lady in the Water? The Village? Any thoughts on those gems? Or on Night's vehement denial of their failures and lack of taking responsibility for sagging audience reception to his films? THAT is what doesn't bode well for this project more than anything else.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:59 a.m. CST

    And p.s.....the reason Cyper Raige is stupid is because...

    by Executor are using TWO metaphors in a name. Double the hamfistedness for the price of one. Skywalker, Solo, Batty, Indiana....the other parts of their names are normal. He isn't "Loner Skywalker", or "Indiana Fedora", he's Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones. Maybe if it was Cypher Jones or Luke Raige the name wouldn't be as idiotic. And the fact that you can't see that doesn't bode well for what the rest of your writing is like.

  • July 3, 2012, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Smith's kid...

    by gotilk

    could probably use some "grounding" in reality and a little less of the Smith bravado. I too have seen him in an interview. Jeeze. But man... you guys are just mean. And not in a funny way. It just comes off as cruelty. At least the kid can act.

  • And you can't wait to shit on him. Oh well. We get what we deserve.

  • July 3, 2012, 2:14 a.m. CST

    It`s simple: ATOR = Crap CONAN=Good

    by higgledyhiggles

    I don`t make the rules. Some names work. Some are clunky that are supposed to sound cool.

  • Not for everyone obviously but isn't that the nature of Genre films, particularly straight fantasy Genre films. It's not a good fantasy adventure films fault if outside the square of trad. block buster audience marketing. & that young girl was a particularly well acted young heroine who was very easy to watch...although a few years too young i think to be thinking anything beyond a job well done! John Carter is best overall fantasy film of last while, but Last Airbender is second place in most completely well done fairy tale fantasy film, all ways a good buzz to watch that film. A world with Spirit Dragons....cmon on!

  • July 3, 2012, 3:03 a.m. CST

    I like this Shyamalan guy

    by CuervoJones

  • July 3, 2012, 3:29 a.m. CST

    What's in a name?

    by A_Banned_Apart

    That which we call a Raige by any other name would smell as sweet.

  • July 3, 2012, 3:32 a.m. CST

    Peter David

    by KGersen

    I was impressed that someone associated with this film was willing to write on the talkback to defend it...until I read his overwrought defence where he suggested: Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica was from the coffee house - err, no, from Moby Dick, as the coffee firm didn't even exist then. The names in Blade Runner were stupid - err, no, they weren't, they were wholly believable names The names in Dune were similarly dumb - no, no and no, actually made a lot of sense referencing ancient earth antecedents with often 'normal' names such as Paul, Jessica, Piter (Dutch or SA for Peter), especially given his surname of De Vries. How can you be so wrong and how can you really believe Cypher Raige is a good name. It is not. Stop trying to defend the indefensible.

  • July 3, 2012, 3:39 a.m. CST


    by KGersen

    ..apparently Starbucks the coffee place did exist when Galactica was written. However apparently character in Galactica got his name from Moby Dick and not from a cup of joe. But nice attempt Mr David.

  • July 3, 2012, 4 a.m. CST

    General Raige!

    by buggerbugger

    Laugh out fucking loud. General Raige smash puny humans!

  • July 3, 2012, 4:13 a.m. CST

    "And Snake Plissken is a stupid name."

    by buggerbugger

    Take that back, you son of a bitch!

  • July 3, 2012, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Peter David

    by J2theB

    Whilst I will never EVER sit through this one dimensional, self-satisfied, exorable M Night canned dog shite - I have to say P.D. is a legend and his Hulk run back in the day rocked my world as a kid - indoctrinating me in to the world of geekdom for ever more. Joe Fixit was bad ass. Mr David - I owe you a drink.

  • July 3, 2012, 5:51 a.m. CST

    the reason why Shyamalan keeps making movies..

    by emeraldboy

    is that his movies tap into beliefs. The sixth sense was about life and death, ghosts and spirits. unbreakable was about miracles. no really, one man survives a miraculous series of events. and his belief that he was a superhero. Signs was about loss. and one man's belief that we are not alone in the universe. the village was also about loss and how it effected people. William hurt created a false world with very strict rules about how to get in or out. I think his wife died. lady in the water. is all about one man's belief in his own storytelling ability. and about critics are nasty and cynical people. the happening taps into M nights beliefs in the environment. The last airbender taps into his mystical beliefs. as he is from indian. and the far east. and they believe in mystism

  • July 3, 2012, 5:52 a.m. CST


    by emeraldboy

    Spirituality. he believes in spiritulality. does m night.

  • ...but you can't fix stupid. :(

  • July 3, 2012, 7:15 a.m. CST


    by obijuanmartinez

  • July 3, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Various and sundry

    by Peter David

    Tyler--thank you for the kind comments about X-Factor. Waltkovacs--I didn't say "Star Wars" was a re-imagining of Flash Gordon. I said it was an homage. Either way, though, I'm right and you're wrong. Lucas originally wanted to do Flash Gordon, but couldn't get the rights. So he did his own version. He's been saying this for years. Were the hell have YOU been? Sutherland--I have no notions of "fitting in" here. That won't happen if for no other reason than that I actually sign my name to my opinions as opposed to sniping through an assortment of fake names. And if dozens of people hiding behind stupid fake names complaining that the names of some characters in a science fiction movie set a thousand years from now isn't the height of irony, I'm not sure what is. Organ donor--Thank you for making my point for me. "Something about the name and the whole persona." Yes. Yes, exactly. The reason that no one has any trouble with silly names like Popeye Doyle or Indiana Jones is because you have met and embraced the entirety of the character. But again, if AICN was around when "French Connection" was in development, the talkback would be, "What kind of stupid name is that?" "Does he get strong by eating spinach?" "Doyle like Olive Oyl? Sounds Wimpy! Arf arf!" "Why not just call him Eddie Egan, the cop he's based on, rather than turn him into a cartoon character?" Because everyone would be doing the same thing they're doing now: having a vast cynic-off, to see who can be the most cynical, the most snarky, and display the most (self-imagined) cleverness. Mel--Y'know, it would have taken you thirty seconds to find that "Karate Kid" made $356 million. Are you so disinterested in being right about things that you couldn't even invest that much time? Executor--I answered your question several hours before you posted. Mel couldn't take thirty seconds to check his facts; you couldn't be bothered to read this thread? J2--I don't drink, but I appreciate the thought. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 7:50 a.m. CST

    The names would work if the planet was named "New California".

    by cookylamoo

  • July 3, 2012, 7:52 a.m. CST

    peter david

    by Skankardly

    shut up.

  • July 3, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Peter David, at first I considered your argument partially flawed as

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    the first list you mentioned mostly had names from movies where no one is from Earth, or even this galaxy. As far as "Snake" goes, it was a nickname. However you do bring up a good point about names changing over the years. Just look back not 1000 years, but 400 years at some of the names from colonial times that are rarely used. Now, look at what celebrities do to their names, or their children's names (I'm talking to you Nic Cage father of Kal-el). Look at what inner city blacks do with their names. This is not a racist slam by any means, I'm just saying culturally you see this segment come up with whatever they want for a name. They will take a name, and spell it incorrectly, deliberately. I'm not judging, I'm just saying. Let's go back farther. People are screaming about Cypher Raige, but look at names like Smith, Miller, Baker. Common names indeed, but what is their root? They come from professions. Dare I ask how many times have you been told you have two first names? That must be an old joke.

  • July 3, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST

    you people are idiots

    by Handiana Jolo

    thinking that this small sample size should indicate to PAD whether or not the name is dumb. Aside from sample size issues, there's the whole problem of you all being AICN commenters, and statistically speaking, that doesn't even make for a good small random sample. My point is most of you are jackasses who clearly have no idea that the man isn't comparing this movie to Indiana Jones or Flash Gordon or whatever, just that they had ridiculous names as well. (And let's be clear - this place prejudges movies all the time based on stupid shit, so yes, a lot of you would bitch about a new movie featuring a character named Indiana Jones.) What a bunch of jackasses.

  • July 3, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST


    by Skankardly

    shut up.

  • Seriously. With the exception of his first two small films, Night came out guns blazing with The Sixth Sense. How do you repeatedly live up to that. Hootie's debut album was the same way. How do you follow that up? They had at least two more albums after that, but none could compare. There was one or two hits on each, but it wasn't enough to satisfy jaded fans. Eventually they broke up. Personally, except for Last Airbender, which I haven't seen, I have enjoyed all his films, and make no apologies.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Scary thought after fleeing Earth- planet Scientologia.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • July 3, 2012, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Hootie and the Blowfish?

    by Skankardly

    come on.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    the1980mutant ......

    by lord nobunga

    Autism huh? tell you what, do some research before making inane remarks like that again,it just might mean the difference between chewing your food or sucking it through a straw.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Grammaton--I get it all the time. Then again, there's the older joke of, "Never trust a man with two first names." Who said that? Steve Allen. Then there was the time that comics writer and old friend Tony Isabella said that, since I was bereft of a last name, he would be happy to lend me his. I pointed out that he likewise had two first names. But at least my surname was that of a famous king, whereas his was the name of a famous queen. That shut him up. So-crates--thanks for understanding my point. I wasn't sure whether I had been that unclear, or that people here were being that deliberately obtuse. Oh, and hey...remember years ago when fans were dismissing "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," before seeing it, as a Doctor Who rip-off. PAD

  • If i changed my name to Cypher because i was an ace codebreaker or intelligence agent and my dog was already named cypher, it might work.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Give him another month, or am I being too obtuse?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • July 3, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Peter David

    by Dingbatty

    Love that guy's writing.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    How come no one mentioned Philip Michael Thomas?

    by Dingbatty

    Dude had three first names.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Two kings actually if you consider the Czar Peter the Great.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I think Tony, and I think some guy making a pizza or Scarface.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:37 a.m. CST

    dingbatty gets the win.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • July 3, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Meant to say "has" Of course, he is still alive.

    by Dingbatty

  • July 3, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    of course. Typo day today. Blood vessel burst in me

    by Dingbatty

    left eye yesterday.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Doesn't matter. I'm not going to see this anyway.

    by Ricardo

  • July 3, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    It's pronounced Cypher Rouge

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Or maybe Cypher Sade.

  • July 3, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    dumb bastards

    by Skankardly

    carry on.

  • How does this guy get work after the string of garbage he put out? I really enjoyed Signs, but that was a LONG time ago...

  • July 3, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Not to mention Neil Patrick Harris. Jan Michael Vincent. Lesley Ann Warren. Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Jerry Lee Lewis. And Richard Dean Anderson. (Anderson's a first name. Either that or Anderson Cooper has two last names.) PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Cypher Raige = Greatest. Character. Name. Ever.

    by Dogmatic

  • July 3, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Welcome to After Earf

    by Gwlush

    I am naming my next kid Cypher Raige

  • July 3, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Names & a Peter David story

    by Himbo

    Folks, if you are to bag on names, then you have to bag on every Indian (Native American) name, in any movie whatsoever: "'Dances with Wolves' is a STOOPID NAME!" Most real life names on this list have functional literal meaning in their original language. Peter, from Pierre, means 'stone'. Many last names come from vocation: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick-Maker. When I first saw Mission Impossible (movies) I thought "'Ethan Hunt' because he HUNTS down the other spies? That's obvious." Then I grew up. Names are hard enough for children. For an artificial creation, you might have an expressive name as a placemarker. Later, it doesn't feel right to change it. Anyway, for those of you who do not know who Peter David is, let Uncle Himbo tell you a story: Many years ago, before many of you were born, Uncle Himbo did not know who Peter David was. But I knew who Harlan Ellison was. I stood in line for an hour or so at an Atlanta convention to have a book signed by Ellison. The convention planners had circuitous, twisty routes for the lines. They converged in a surprisingly small conference room, and it was hard to to tell who was in which signature line. Harlan got frustrated by this as he was signing my book. "I can't tell who the hells books I'm supposed to be signing. I've got people here with obvious taste in books, and they are having to wait and get around people waiting to talk to Peter David. Those people waiting for Peter are trying to find out what the fuck Aquaman is up to. Hey Pete!" PAD "WHAT?" HE "Can you just yell out what fuck Aquaman is doing and save these folks some time??!!" This good natured ribbing went back and forth for a bit. At that point, I learned who Peter David was. He was a working writer, who Harlan Ellison respected. PAD writes. He knows his craft. He's been doing it longer than many of you have been alive. ... I don't know whether this movie will be good or bad. As they say, you write one movie, shoot another movie, and edit another movie. But thIS concept sounds solid for an adventure movie. I think I would enjoy it more than PROMETHEUS, which I did not enjoy at all. This sounds an original concept, which could gateway into a franchise. I'll take a modest SF film over another Transformers, Resident Evil or other videogame movie anyday. Maybe I'll like it, maybe I won't. If I don't I won't give them money next time. I've not seen a MNS movie (theater or otherwise) since "The Village". And I'll say this for Will Smith: I think he tends to pick good projects. I enjoy his movies more often than not. So I'll have to give this one a chance. And for those of you that haven't seen it, I highly recommend "Tales from the Script" which was renewed on Netflix. Might give you more insight into the creation process, and just how hard it is to make anything creative, let alone a movie, and how especially hard it is to make a good one. If you think you've got a better idea, get writing. Most of you have cell-phones with better video capabilities than cameras I used in the early 90s to do short films. NOTHING is stopping you from trying to make your own flick. Good luck coming up with names that you think are perfect.

  • July 3, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    thank God for the know-it-alls

    by Skankardly

  • July 3, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Here's the thing...

    by John

    ...we all agree that M Night Shymalan is a laughably inept and childish 'filmmaker' who must be pooching anus for one of the Rothschilds or the Rockerfellers in order to be allowed to keep spraying multiplex screens with his diarrhea-quality movies. And that the Smith family are obnoxious, revolting cunts. None of that is controversial so I wont dwell on it. I think the problem with Cypher Raige, apart from it's general laugh-out-loud lameness and improbability is the 'i' in the Raige. Cypher Rage is shit, but it's made much worse when they insert that pretentious 'i' in there in the deluded belief that this somehow makes it seem more realistic. I've never heard of Peter David, couldn't give two shits who he thinks he is, I hate Hollywood and predict with a great deal of confidence thate everyone involved in the production and promotion of this abomination of a movie is a soulless cunt.

  • July 3, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Cypher Raige in the Cage My Kitai Pooped in on the way to the Vet:

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    The Movie

  • July 3, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    You should really see this:

    by Clark Kunt

  • July 3, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Peter David, please try this:

    by Clark Kunt

  • July 3, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Peter David, please try this:

    by Clark Kunt

  • July 3, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    dingbatty, look here:

    by Clark Kunt

  • July 3, 2012, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Andy Griffith is dead. Dibs on the obit if staff doesn't hit it.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • July 3, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    The twist is this:

    by Nick

    The don't crash land on the dangerous's actually Nova Prime. The same thing that caused the death of Earth either came to Nova Prime or was unleashed on Nova Prime by the settlers. It's a cautionary tale for the ages.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    The twist is this: There is no twist

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    It's a staight forward kid in peril on a dangerous planet movie. He picks up a lost cat and dog and it becomes like Incredible Journey... in space... but actually Earth... with Will Smith's kid... and aliens.

  • OMG, this already sounds painfully awful. As painfully awful as everything the guy has done since Unbreakable (his only really good movie).

  • July 3, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Cypher Raige is like a really bad name for a Rifts RPG character

    by SergeantStedenko

    made up by a 6 year old.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Del Griffith died

    by James

    He was the real article. What you saw was what you got.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Here, M. Night, let me help you out. How about Cypheronius? Or Kitainous?

    by SergeantStedenko

    By adding any of the following to your character's name will make it magical: -ONIUS -AINOUS -ANOUS -ODIUS -IVOURUS

  • July 3, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    The hell with names.

    by veebeeyes

    This whole talkback is just complaints about the same three things: Shyamalan, the Smiths, stupid names. That's clearly going to be the case, since that's really all that people have to pile on at the time. So I don't see how the names are even a big deal. They're going to increasingly become less important the more information is released about the movie. By the time the movie is done and in theaters, one of two things will happen: either the movie is great and everyone stops caring about the stupid names, or the movie will be crap (in which case the names will be the LEAST of the movie's flaws). Either way, no one's going to give a shit about the names as the movie gets closer to being released. People are only bitching about the names now because they know so little about the movie.

  • July 3, 2012, noon CST

    how about Clitorious raige?

    by Skankardly

  • July 3, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    how about Clitorious Raige?

    by Skankardly

  • July 3, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Where is Andy Griffith's obit?

    by Dan

  • July 3, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST


    by seansnake

    i think one of Peter David's jobs on After Earth was naming the characters and we somehow hit a nerve.(not sorry)

  • Why even add the "i" in Raige? Why? It doesn't make it anymore realistic, or less ridiculous if that was the goal.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Peter David, Duke Nukem is a better name than Cypher Raige.

    by SergeantStedenko

    Unless you too are going for satire, which does not seem to be the case.

  • What exactly is wrong with Rick Deckard?

  • July 3, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Peter David

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    What you completely miss in your defenses is that what worked for names in films in the 70s and 80s stopped working in the 90s and beyond. Han Solo was a great name (for a great character, we remember that characters are pretty important too) - a great name, when I was five years old in the late 1970s. It worked then. It would not work now. But still it's a far better name than (as someone else said, the double ham-fisted) Cypher Raige. And so are all the others you mentioned. Particularly the ones that were intentional homages to bygone serials and adventure stories etc. Cypher Raige sounds like an homage to a poor "hacker" sci-fi movie from 1992. It just cannot be taken seriously. Neither can Will Smith. He's not Cypher Raige or anyone else - when he's on screen for the past decade or so, he is simply Will Smith. It's sad to me that if indeed you are trying to make an epic sci-fi movie, that you have to cast Will Smith in it to get it made.

  • Only Rescue Beacon can adminster the antidote to save Cyper Raige from his medical barrell.

  • How about Cypherodius Raigeainous?

  • despite the fact that I said I would never pay to see one of M. Night Sham's messes again.

  • July 3, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    This movie would work much better as a western.

    by Dan

    Two slaves trying to get through Indian territory.

  • Actually, Cypher Raige Marge sounds like a pretty awesome character.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Chief Justice: Wow, this board is where irony goes to die. I didn't REALLY think the name Ulric was stupid. I like to think I am a man of letters, though, which is why I know the name is Germanic, not Scandanavian. Sean: No, I didn't name the characters. So people asking me to change their names is a waste of time. But really: listening to you guys bitch that the names of people living a thousand years from now on another planet are stupid reminds me of a book filled with nothing but monumentally dumb studio notes called, "A Martian Wouldn't Say That." You guys should check it out. The comments there are easily as inane as what pops up here, the difference being that the people in the book were professionals. Sergeant: Without giving away any plot details, I will simply say if that is your criteria, start prepping your ass to be sitting next June. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by Ralph Scifaretto

    Shyamalan, even if his latest movies have been constantly hit and miss, is one of the best American directors out there. And all of you fucktards are nothing but angered filthy nerdboys without a piece of knowledge of film. Fuck u all.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Valid point, about the names not being important later, but they are important now not only because it's all we have to go on, but because experience over the last ten years has shown us that all too often bad decisions revealed early on are the reliable forecast for a bad movie. It's like Iron Man 2 (not the worst movie ever, but...) I loved IM1. I was looking forward to IM2 very much. But even the earliest stuff that dribbled out...plot points, images, behind the scenes stuff, cast started to smell a little funny really quick. And guess what, as positive as I wanted to be about it, IM2 ended up a big disappointment for me. And it wasn't the spoiler stuff and news and gossip stuff that ruined it. The film itself was just lacking, particularly the lackluster climax, even though that part wasn't even telegraphed in all that upfront suspicious clue stuff I had seen. But, bad decisions just "soak through" in these cases. My point is, the clues are there if you know how to look. And "Cypher Raige" is a big bloody footprint, as clues go. And again, so is the casting of Will Smith I'm afraid.

  • Also, I've been waiting a long time for a Gamma World movie so you best not be jibing me.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    A moron is anyone who thinks that a director who hasn't had one non-"rotten" movie on rotten tomatoes in ten years is somehow still "one of the best American directors out there." Maybe you can start ralph_scifaretto's tomatoes web site and enlighten nearly everyone here and nearly every other critic about what makes a good film, thanks. It's appropriate that Shyamalan was attracted to a character with such an outdated name like (I don't need to type it again) because most of his movies play out as poor imitations of old Twilight Zone episodes.

  • Propecia Wachovia Verizon Benefiber

  • July 3, 2012, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Peter David

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    "the names of people living a thousand years from now on another planet are stupid" because we are alive now, we are the actual audience, and we hear those names and conjure up images and make decisions based on things like if the names are silly and overwrought and utterly cliche, and then judge whether or not to spend money on movie tickets over this kind of stuff even, sometimes. Of course studio notes are often ridiculous because so many people in the industry are completely out of touch. They are purely interested in the money end, god knows if they actually even go and enjoy any movies for what they are. Fans (like on this site), sure, there's a great deal of insanity and ignorance, but ultimately we are the geeks making your shit sink or swim, and often we are - rightly or wrongly - far more passionate about film (and specific well-loved genres, characters and franchises) than industry people. This explains why so many well-loved comic characters have gotten ass-raped by studio hacks (i.e. Wolverine, Snake-Eyes, Daredevil, Catwoman, etc. etc.) There's far more accurate predictions of both fan and critical response in these talkbacks than you are giving credit for.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST


    by veebeeyes

    that comment of mine was mostly directed at Mr David. As much as I appreciate him actually coming here and willing to talk with us, I'm a bit curious about his whole defense of the names. Just seems sort of a weird thing to be taking so seriously. The general opinion here seems to be that the names ARE stupid, and don't generate much confidence in the movie. That opinion might be right, it might be wrong, but Mr David surely isn't going to be changing anyone's mind. Assuming that he has confidence in the movie, the best thing to do is to just sort of let this one go. And then as the months pass, things will end up looking better and that'll shut the haters up. Or you'll be proven right and the movie will increasingly look more like a pile of shit. In which case, again, the names are really the least of the problems. I'm not really defending or criticizing the names. I just think that's kind of a dumb thing to argue so seriously about. You and I and most of the people here argue about that kind of dumb thing all the time, that's just what the people here do. But as much as I appreciate Peter David taking the time to talk with us, I'm a little bit confused as to why someone who's actually involved in the movie is stooping to that level.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST

    He's in this with his kid? Are you fucking kidding?

    by Autodidact

    Oh, gee I hope they have a scene where they get all serious and then yell at each other and then they both cry a little and resolve to always be true, coming out of it a newly forged team of father and son. Oh puke. Won't be seeing this shizz.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Gary Whitta should stick to editing PC Gamer

    by Autodidact

    I say this as a fan of his. Gary, stop writing movies.

  • 1) It's all a videogame 2) It's really the beginning of earth and Jaden and whoever he finds are Adam & Eve (TZ episode: Probe 7 Over and Out). 3) It's really a science fiction race war. (Star Trek: TOS).

  • July 3, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Jaden, Caden, Brayden, Grayden, Aidan

    by Autodidact

    This naming convention makes me wish for nuclear annihilation on our species. Please god, just END IT.

  • Battlefield Earth. And we know what a shitty film that was, even if it wasn't a front for Scientology.

  • July 3, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST


    by seansnake

    the names sound bad and they kinda in fact...are, the bigger problem with the film is M. and the way these studios continue to work. New blood will never be able to show their talent and imagination if studios continue to hire people like night. He is past his very short lived "prime" and has consistently made "tried too hard" types of movies that turn out shittai. Face it, those names scream "tried to hard". My limited hope is he had an Oscar winning writer there to try and keep him less focused and open to telling a story instead of forcing it.

  • Book of Eli is a stupid fucking movie, and M Night probably hired the writer based on the EXTREMELY FUCKING STUPID TWIST AT THE END.

  • .. considering it's the most widely printed and available book of all time, the concept of there being only one bible left around is pretty fucking stupid. The twist at the end of Book of Eli is that Eli is blind... meanwhile he's been knife-fighting people and writing stuff down the whole movie. It's totally stupid and un-earned.

  • July 3, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Forget the Book of Eli knife fighting.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Maybe you could talk me into believing that he could hear all those people coming at him. The most unbelievable part is the way he moves around the room where Oldman makes him spend the night. The room has a bed, a table, chairs. How the fuck does he know where they are? He should be Helen Keller all OVER that room.

  • July 3, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Eli was shooting at people and hitting them!!

    by parissun

    You mean he was blind? I just thought he could read Braille.

  • July 3, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Cypher Raige?? UGH That is so awful.

    by DoctorWho?

  • While I can appreciate that David, Greenberger and Friedman landed themselves a paying gig pounding out some "prequel" material for this thing, let's be honest. That practice -- such as setting up custom web sites that host behind the scenes material or have nifty Easter eggs you're supposed to uncover or have all sorts of other stuff (like online custom comics) -- has become a regular marketing tool in the digital age, supplanting old school things like movie tie-in novelizations and whatnot. So again, on the one hand, I can totally congratulate these guys in this shitty economy for scoring themselves some paying work... ...HOWEVER, on the other hand, I always laugh when people make a boast like David. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I get it. You want to thump your chest and be proud of your work, and that's all fine and good. But, sorry, in the midst of spouting your hyperbole, I'm also willing to bet that -- being the well-documented perfectionist nut that he is -- love it or hate it as a property, that James Cameron spent more time and did FAR more planning in crafting his Avatar universe than you guys did for this thing. In fact, given that Avatar was always envisioned as a trilogy right from the start -- and again, given what a perfectionist nut he is and given the sheer ungodly amount of money that was always riding on the thing -- I'm also willing to bet Cameron did FAR more "cohesive planning" and he thought things out FAR more relative to Avatar than Straczynski ever did for Babylon 5. Then again, I've always found the whole P.R. spin about how much planning Straczynski did for B5 -- and how NO other writers have ever, ever, ever given THEIR creations a similar level of attention or thought or commitment beforehand -- to be fairly insulting. And I say that as a writer whose spent the better part of the last year or so developing a film property for a major studio, where right from the start they loved the high concept so much that they wanted me to block out a second and third movie even as I'm writing the first one, as well as crafting the Bible for a possible TV series, because they were already seeing "franchise" stars in their eyes. So, I'm sure it's a nice ego stroke to the likes of Straczynski to keep peddling his P.R. line about how much time and work he did ahead of time in prepping Babylon 5... and I'm sure you feel you've put in some good effort on your project as well... but when you make a boast like yours and even accent it in caps ("it will be THE most cohesive and thought out SF universe!"), it just makes all other writers -- whether they're amateur hopefuls or working professionals -- to give you a Rodney Dangerfield mocking eye roll, followed by an audible groan. But, hey, that said, good luck with the book.

  • July 3, 2012, 2:52 p.m. CST

    It's the actors that sell the names

    by letsfightinglove

    Ford SOLD Hans Solo & Indiana Jones, Russell made Snake Plissken a bad-ass, etc. Will Smith can't even sell me on Agent K or J or whatever the fuck he is in MIB.

  • July 3, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Re: Book of Eli. You guys are idiot!

    by SergeantStedenko

    It's clear that Eli is a prophet of Jebus and that the reason he can navigate his environment so well and karate chop people too is because the Angels are guiding him. Jeesh! Is it that hard to comprehend?

  • July 3, 2012, 3:35 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Voice: "We are the geeks who are making this shit sink or swim." No. You're really not. You are a remarkably small minority, and if there was a direct bitching-to-success ratio resulting from your "observations," everything would fail. Everything. You bitched about "Karate Kid." You bitched about Heath Ledger's Joker. You bitched about X-Men: First Class. You bitched on the basis of single descriptive lines, or random photographs taken behind the scenes, or casting. You declare "It's gonna suck!" the moment you hear about a studio acquiring a property before a single thing has been done. If only the hardcore comics fans had gone to see "Avengers," it would have tanked. It's easy to declare "It's gonna suck!" and then, if it does, jump around like the primitives in 2001 and shout, "We told you! We told you!" No, you told people nothing, because when you always say the same damned thing, it's not foresight if you turn out to be correct. It's just coincidence. Meta: Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Autodidact: Wrong. Ape: I've already read Cameron's detailed bible for "Avatar." It came in three volumes. They were titled, "A Princess of Mars," "The Gods of Mars," and "The Warlord of Mars."

  • I do, however, agree with Neil Gaiman's theory that if you stick closely to and are respectful of the source material that your project generally will be more successful, in this day and age. The massive success of The Avengers and the overall success of Marvel's latest endeavors prove that this is viable. That said, the Transformers films were also hugely successful at the B.O., but this is mainly attributed to the theory that "a fool and his money are often easily separated."

  • July 3, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    so the film focuses on a punk kid


    who can barely act, while the biggest movie star in the world lays dying, confined to the cockpit in a spacecraft? That's pure genius! Sounds like a cringe inducing father and son melodrama. In Shyamalamadingdong we trust!

  • July 3, 2012, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Actually, I like The Village.

    by acamp

    So there.

  • July 3, 2012, 5 p.m. CST

    Change "Cypher" to "Kaige," and it'll all be good

    by animatronicmojo

    "Oh the Kaige Raige! Oh the Kaige Raige! There be magic inside that old gnave."

  • July 3, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Is this supposed to be the real Peter David

    by Autodidact

    I was certainly a fan back in the day. I have pretty much your entire run on INCREDIBLE HULK and most of the X-FACTOR stuff too. "Random" is a great character. But you can't defend Book of Eli at least not the concept of there being no bibles left, or Eli turning out to have been blind the whole time. It's beyond stupid!

  • July 3, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Look, here's the bottom line

    by Peter David

    There are, in fact, story reasons for the names of the characters. I'm not going to go into them here because, frankly, it's obvious that the majority of you aren't remotely interested in hearing them. All the bulk of you want to do is tear things down because, well, that's SOP around here. So I honestly don't see the point. What WAS the point of the initial (and, frankly, negatively slanted) entry was to let people know the panel was happening. If someone asks there, I (or the screenwriter, for that matter) will be happy to provide an answer. The reason for the panel in the first place was, and is, to give people a behind the scenes look at the creative process. If you're interested in that, then come by and learn some stuff. It's entirely up to you. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I can confirm that the name is, in fact, dumb.

    by frank

    It is the name of someone trying way too hard to be cool (mysterious and violent = cool). If the character is cool, his actions will demonstrate this, not his name. Something like ‘Obi Wan Kenobi’ is much more believable to me as a name that someone might have in the distant future. It sounds alien and unique, rather than just being an alternate spelling of an English word.

  • July 3, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I think Kitai is fine, though.

    by frank

  • July 3, 2012, 6 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Autodidact: I'm glad you enjoyed my work back in the day. But...when and where did I start defending "The Book of Eli?" I'm not dissing it; I just haven't seen it. Amateurman: I think an open mind is all that anyone can ask. You'd think it wouldn't be asking too much, would you? Yet often it seems that it is. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 6:37 p.m. CST

    I may skip this film just based on that name choice for the hero.

    by DoctorWho?

    if someone thought THAT was cool...then what else awaits us?

  • I'll take a wait and see attitude. Negative as I might be about Jaden being cast, if it looks good at all, or has any kind of real hard sci-fi grounding, I will buy a ticket.

  • July 3, 2012, 7:51 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    I was saying you were wrong in believing that Night "hired" Whitta because of the "twist" in "Book of Eli." That's just another incorrect opinion. Whitta wrote the script, the script was acquired by Overbrook, and then they hired Night. And what no one is bothering to notice is that they also brought in another writer to do a rewrite on the script. A guy named Stephen Gaghan. Maybe you remember him: Academy award nominated for writing "Syriana?" Academy award winning for writing "Traffic?" I will say this as simply and clearly as I can: matters of taste are individualistic. Like Night, don't like him, it's up to you. But just about all of your speculations about how the film was made, who did what, what happens in it, are completely wrong. An opinion based upon incorrect or half-assed information isn't an opinion; it's a mistake. The purpose of the panel is to give actual information so real opinions can be formed. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    And just so to clarify

    by Peter David

    In the previous comment, when I say "your speculations," I'm not just referring to Autodidact. I'm talking about everybody here. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Peter David (re 1st post)

    by Jason

    "Meriwether"??? Kungaloosh you magnificent bastard.

  • Also, the nepotistic father-son pairing is a little unseemly, to say the least, IMO.

  • July 3, 2012, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Peter David

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    You're right in that I completely misspoke if it seemed I was saying that fanboys/geeks determine if a film makes any money. Indeed we are the minority, and there is a seemingly endless stream of people who go to the movies for a forgettable 2 hour distraction. There are constantly movies going in and out of theaters that somehow make millions at the box office even though fans and critics alike have called them shit. What I should have really said is that fanboys/geeks can be excellent arbiters of what is actually a good movie (in certain genres) and are also not without weight in regards to the buzz behind an opening film. Part of your problem is your extreme desire to paint all geeks with one brush. I for one never doubted Ledger's Joker - I knew that film would kill both for me personally and for the audience at large. Given the chance I would indeed have bitched about The Karate Kid cause it looked lame, and success or not, when I saw it, I thought it indeed was awful and predictable and cliche and weak in near every aspect. I knew it would make some money. But will be people be watching it ten years from now? I think I'm pretty spot on with predicting both whether or not a film will perform weakly at the box office and/or with fans and critics. Many others here have the same "skill" because it's never for us, as you suggest, constantly saying everything sucks. I don't "always say the same thing." Are The Dark Knight Rises or The Hobbit going to suck OR do bad business? Of course not. They are going to knock out of the park on both scores, because they have brilliant people working on them who have respect for source material and also for the fans. They don't have hack one-trick-pony egotistic directors, or big and obvious and nepotistic casting choices. They certainly don't have writers coming onto AICN talkbacks proclaiming their movie as the most completely realized universe since sliced bread. And for what it's worth I never come back to gloat when my predictions come true. There's something studios and writers and everyone can actually learn from fans if you listen. As far as After Earth, all it has to do is get middling reviews and box office to seem a success after Shyamalan's sad string of train wrecks. I wish I could say I wish you better success but by coming on this site of all sites and criticizing our criticisms while ironically downplaying the importance of geeks, you only show yourself to be an amateur on this side of the looking glass. You should have ignored this whole page if everything we say here is stupid and meaningless. Instead you got scared and defensive. Going on about Lando. I can separate the wheat from the trolling chaff here, it's clear you've done some respected comic book work. But if you can't differientate qualitatively between the names Kara Thrace or Rick Deckard and CYPHER RAIGE, I'm still pretty shocked. After Earth will do kind of ok, but it's never going to get any sci fi cred like Babylon 5 or Blade Runner or any other respected work that is still talked about years later, works that you forced foolish comparisons with. After Earth is going to be predictable and shallow; just a lot of things we've seen done better before with better actors and craftsmen.

  • July 3, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Let's Play "Match the Director's Film w/the RT Score!"

    by Sprell

    The Sixth Sense (1999) 6% Unbroken (2000) 18% Signs (2002) 24% The Village (2004) 43% Lady in the Water (2006) 74% The Happening (2008) 68% The Last Airbender (2010) 85% Key: Just inverse the scores and marvel at the crap directed in the past DECADE!

  • July 3, 2012, 9:51 p.m. CST

    I never heard of Peter David before this

    by SpaghettiWall

    so I google'd him And now I still don't know why he matters except that he can suck up good to Marvel

  • July 3, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    If Joey Pants can be Cypher in The Matrix, Will Smith can be Cypher in this.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I was painting the house, decided to put on a movie for background noise. I did Terminator last night, Matrix tonight while finishing. I can't believe I forgot ,and no one else has mentioned Matrix's Cypher.

  • July 3, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    No one mentioned him specifically...

    by veebeeyes

    but the names in the Matrix were brought up. Specifically that stuff like "Neo" (and presumably also "Cypher" as well) seem to sort of be internet names or hacker names or something. After all, Neo isn't really named Neo, his name is Donald Anderson. "Cypher" probably isn't Cypher's name either.

  • July 3, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    You know what? I've had it with this nepotism thing

    by Peter David

    Here's a nutty notion. How about that Will Smith is supportive of what his kids want to do with their lives, as any father should be. And he's simply fortunate enough to have lived his life in a way, through smarts and success, that enable him to accomplish that. How many of you have heard of Trey Smith? Anyone? Okay: he's Will's oldest son. He has no interest in acting or show biz. None. And that's fine with his dad. However, Trey IS very much into football. Played on his high school football team. A couple years ago, his team won the regionals, having an undefeated season. They were going to be in the Pacific championship, playing another undefeated team up in Seattle. Will was in China working on "Karate Kid" (titled, at the time, "Kung Fu Kid"--go shout at the studios). Will arranged to fly into LA and then up to Seattle so he could be there to root for his son. Pretty much had to mobilize a small army in order to accomplish this because of security concerns. I know people whose fathers couldn't be bothered to leave the office early for school games, and Will crossed time zones and spent a buttload of money just to be there to cheer his son on. Local news stations were there and were desperate to interview Will. He refused them all. This wasn't a publicity stunt; he was there to watch Trey, period. I've seen lots of bullshit charges leveled at Will and his family. Most of them seem formed as a result of news coverage which, as we know, is always even-handed, truthful and never the least bit sensationalized. We live in a country where absentee parents are a serious problem. Where neglectful parents are epidemic. And here's a guy who's there for his kids, enabling them to follow their heart's desires in whatever way he can. And sometimes he's developing projects for them, helping them build careers because that's what they want, and sometimes he's content to just be on the sidelines and cheer them on. And all you guys can do is piss and moan and act like that's a bad thing. And Trey had a good night. Team won. He scored a touchdown and ran for 75 yards. And if Jaden, who's a great kid, by the way, were a bad actor, all the influence in the world wouldn't get the films made. And even if he managed that, theaters wouldn't exhibit them. Instead he gets good notices from critics who actually, you know, sign their names to their opinions, and the films make so much money that people here have no choice but to misreport them because they can't admit to the films' success. To me, the problem isn't nepotism. The problem is that people just can't stand that Will Smith and his family are successful. And that's pretty pathetic. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    I agree with you on that point, definitely.

    by veebeeyes's one thing to simply say that the Smiths suck at acting. I couldn't agree or disagree about the kid, I haven't seen any of his movies. Though...he looked okay in the movie trailers I've seen. And I disagree about Will Smith. I don't mind him as an actor, I actually sort of like him as an actor. Still, people are entitled to disagree. If the people here were complaining about how the Smiths just plain SUCK, that'd be a-okay. You know...sort of like how they're complaining that the names suck. They may be right, they may be wrong, and people can certainly disagree. But disagree as I might, I just don't think there's anything wrong with someone just flat-out thinking that the names suck. It's a fair opinion, just like it's a fair opinion to say that the Smiths suck at acting. But the whole nepotism thing is misguided, I'd say. That's like...complaining that Will Smith is trying to support his kids. And why the hell wouldn't he? I just reeks of jealousy. It's like someone at community college screaming "NEPOTISM!" at a kid whose parents can afford to send him to an Ivy League college. I'm broke as shit. But if I could afford it, I'd send my kids to the best school I could find. Doesn't mean I'd be encouraging them to be lazy. Obviously I'd promote hard work and discipline. But if my wealth or connections or whatever can help someone out just a little bit, then why not? Is Jaden Smith advantaged by being the son of Will Smith? I don't doubt it. But the kid clearly has a passion for acting, his father clearly has a passion for acting, and they're both clearly doing the best the can to do the best WORK they can do. Being the son of Will Smith might sure help the kid get a foot in the door, but what the hell is wrong with that?

  • July 3, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    I have no problem with Will Smith as a person from anything I've seen and I'm sure he's a great dad, the best super-rich dad ever possibly. I have no problem with the Smiths leading the most awesome life ever. But I've found that the most awesome life ever doesn't always result in the greatest art, and I find both Smiths completely boring on screen and it's near impossible for me to suspend disbelief when I see them on screen. I've seen plenty in the business and there are countless amazingly talented kids out there. Nothing about Jaden Smith makes me want to see him carry a movie. Having them together in a movie takes me out of the fantasy of film - instead, I feel like I'm just looking at the next, ultimately sappy movie that Smith & Son are making.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST

    nepotism part 2

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    It's not even about whether the kid can act or not - of course he has to some fucking skill there, but it doesn't appeal to me. But putting them both in a film together, again, changes it in many people's minds from "oh I'm going to see this amazing sci fi movie that's going to blow my mind with such a fully-realized backstory" to "oh I'm going to see that new movie with Will Smith and his son." You get a totally different thing from that, a different audience, a different film. It's a red flag to me, and despite Will Smith's tremendous likability factor, it's going to limit both the audience AND the sci-fi street cred of the film. How much? Just enough.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST

    "there are countless amazing kids out there".

    by veebeeyes

    I don't doubt it. But it's like that all over the place, isn't it? There are countless amazing musicians not getting solid or regular work, there are countless amazing painters and photographers who'll never make it to the big leagues, there are countless amazing chefs who can't manage to make it big either. That's just how things work. Quality is ABSOLUTELY important, I'm not denying that. But it's not the only (and in some cases not even the MOST) important factor that determines success. Part of it's sheer luck, part of it's knowing where to be or what to do at the right time, and part of it's having the right connections. That might seem unfair, and maybe it ISN'T fair. But I don't think there's anyone here who doesn't know that to at least sort of be true in all sorts of situations. Most people here have probably at one time or another known (or maybe even BEEN) someone who did excellent work at their jobs, but was constantly passed over for raises or promotions by focusing ONLY on the work rather than also getting in the good graces of the people who were in a position to help them advance. My point being, ESPECIALLY in highly competetive fields like acting, it's important to use EVERY available advantage to get ahead. Quality work is of course extremely important, but it's often not enough. It of course IS sad that so many quality actors are getting nowhere because they don't have the right connections. You're right, that's a shame. The thing is, this Jaden kid DOES have the right connections. And according to a hell of a lot of people (again, I don't have an opinion on this), he's also doing quality work. So good for him. Now, as far as you thinking that he's boring and that he sucks, that's totally fine. Just keep the discussion on how he SUCKS, not on nepotism. Also be aware that even though you think The Two Smiths suck, and that that opinion is totally valid, that you aren't the one buying all of the movie tickets. Regardless of your opinion, these guys are ultimately going to be successful due to their ability to bring in money. This is, after all, business. And apparently, a HELL of a lot of people like The Smiths and are willing to pay to see them act. THAT'S what keeps them getting work, even if "nepotism" helped them to get a foot in the door. You can say all day that they suck and that they're boring, but at the end of the day, enough people disagree with you that their VERY expensive movies end up generating profits at least in part because of them. They are assets, period. People like them. A LOT of people apparently like them enough to pay to see them work. YOU might hate the hell out of them and that's totally fair. But NO ONE gets universal acclaim. I'm sure that Peter David has his share of harsh critics, some people hate Kubrick, and people hate on Martin Scorsese every time he does a new movie. One's success isn't judged by the people who hate their work, it's determined by the people who LIKE IT.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST

    What are you basing your opinion on, Saruman?

    by Peter David

    Again: opinions based on facts are generally more believable than opinions based on stuff you're just pulling out of thin air. "Oh, I'm going to see that new movie with Will Smith and his son." Well, there was one before. It was called "The Pursuit of Happyness." It had a budget of $55 million, made over $300 million, and was well-reviewed. I really can't follow what you're saying. You see a potential "red flag" over the notion that someone might see the film for reasons other than why YOU would see the film? How is what goes through the mind of other movie goers going to impact on the film? You think--what? That it's going to be dumbed down for an audience that can't grasp a science fiction film? Or are you contending that SF fans will skip the film because it's Will and Jaden, while Will and Jaden fans will skip it because it's science fiction? I'd be fascinated to know on what data you're basing these rather astounding conclusions. Will's made a ton of SF films. They've all been successful. So you think the addition of Jaden, who already has a $360 million success under his belt, is going to HURT? I mean, yes, there's always the chance it could cripple the film's success among fans who obsessively hate Will Smith and Jaden Smith. Fans who find stuff to bitch about. You know: you guys. But your conclusion that the combination is going to limit the film's success, when every possible metric of Will and Jaden's success, indicates the exact opposite, is dubious at best. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 11:30 p.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Thanks, good points. I am of course just another asshole here posting without thinking enough. As I see it clearer, I realize while I actually find both WS and his son likable as personalities or whatever, I just find it impossible to see them on screen as real characters anymore ("anymore" in reference to WS of course.) Anything becomes a Will Smith movie, with Will Smith being...Will Smith. Like a Jim Carrey movie. The shit has just gotten old to me. Because of that the odds of Will Smith ever being in a real, great sci-fi film like Blade Runner or fantasy film like Star Wars (which PAD referenced and compared to) are so slim, that when you throw his son in the mix and make it not only a Will Smith movie but a Will Smith and Son movie, the odds for real artistic success become negligible. In my opinion. Thanks again. I won't use the nepotism word again because it isn't really what I'm looking to say, but what I'm trying to say has a hell of a lot to do with the fact that both Smiths are in this film.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Auto: I really don't give a damn what you think of me. That's probably because you and I see AICN from two different points of view. You see it as a place for people to hide behind goofy names, act as if they know what they're talking about, twist what other people say, and generally bitch about things because they're incapable of doing anything creative themselves. But those are just the people who spout off. Ten percent of the iceberg. The people that I, on the other hand, am interested in reaching are the 90% below the surface. The ones who don't post because they don't feel like being harangued. The ones who write me privately--and it happens all the time--thanking me for writing posts that make sense and providing actual informed opinions. I may talk at you, but I'm really talking TO them. Saruman: Yeah, uh, no. As was pointed out by another commenter in a post that made genuine sense and was correct--which is probably why it slid past you--I wasn't comparing "After Earth" to "Blade Runner" or "Star Wars." I was simply saying that if AICN existed at the time of those films, people would be finding moronic reasons to take potshots at those films as well, including the names of the characters. PAD

  • July 3, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST

    How many movies have the two been in together?

    by veebeeyes

    I know there's I am Legend, which probably doesn't count since the kid just had a brief cameo appearance. The only other one I can think of is Pursuit of Happyness. Anyway, I don't know how reliable the site Box Office Mojo is. Maybe their numbers are total bullshit. And if that's the case, let me know. But a quick search revealed this... I Am Legend production budget: $150 million I Am Legend worldwide grosses: somewhere around $585 million. Pursuit of Happyness production budget: $55 million Pursuit of Happyness worldwide grosses: about $307 million. I'm not going to bullshit you guys and pretend I know what these numbers mean. Are these movies considered flops? Are these numbers disappointing? Do these numbers indicate that audiences are sick of seeing Will and Jaden Smith together? Those aren't rhetorical questions, I'm genuinely asking.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:46 p.m. CST


    by SpaghettiWall

    Well, at least we'll have something to look forward to when this film's closer to release. Peter's constant, 'no really, this film's GOOD' comments.'

  • July 3, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    And apparently Jaden wasn't even in I Am Legend.

    by veebeeyes

    Looks like I was thinking of the wrong Smith kid. Which means that unless IMDB is lying to me too, that Pursuit of Happyness is the ONLY movie that Will and Jaden have been in (absent any uncredited cameo appearances). That movie had a production budget of $55 million, and ended up grossing $307 million. So, genuine question. Do those numbers on that ONE movie somehow indicate that it's a turnoff for audiences?

  • July 4, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    My opinions are based on

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    common sense. There's no disputing that Will Smith, and his son, have made popular movies. My bad if I'm so insanely misunderstood here. Yes, I do think that real sci-fi fans might have a hard time believe a Will Smith sci-fi film is going to be a great sci-fi film. Will it be ok? Maybe. Will it make profit? Likely. Will it be on anyone's best of list at the end of a decade? You can guess my answer on that last one, which, yes, is my opinion based on my experience and analyses in life - call that thin air if you want. If, by calling out Will Smith's alleged sci-fi cred, you are talking about I, Robot...Men In Black 3...I Am Legend...uh...Hancock...then, I don't know man, I wish you the best, and some of those may have cleaned up at the box office but I found them all to be terribly lame, cliche and forgettable movies, with the exception of the first MiB, which was more comedy than anything else. I saw Pursuit of Happiness, of course. And I'll pull back my bitchy geek insults for a second and say I thought everybody in it did a "serviceable job." Was it memorable to me? No. Would I ever watch it again? No. Is it a great film? No. And I meant that I do think people may certainly say "I'm going to see that new movie with Will Smith and his son." You'll have that audience for sure. Great. Will those people who plunked their money down remember who "Cypher Raige" is a few months later? Yes I do think "that it's going to be dumbed down for an audience that can't grasp a science fiction film." I'm not sure how many intelligent movies Will Smith has been making in recent years, but I am sure that Shyamalan is a total hack who has blown any wad he had years ago. So yes I do see the movie not being too brilliant, sorry. Your work may be brilliant but I'm talking about this movie. You got me wrong, my fault I'm sure, but I don't think the film's success will be "crippled" by anything. It's got Will Smith in it for Christ's sake. But it's not going to do Independence Day business or Men In Black business. Unless you find the perfect release date. And more relevantly to what I'm thinking about, it's definitely not going to be compared to Blade Runner or Star Wars or even Babylon 5. It's got Cypher Raige in it for Christ's sake. Sorry, not baiting you, it's just how I feel, man. I've always been failing to make clear here perhaps but I'm thinking of the film's quality over it's box office return. The Smiths will do ok. But their presence in the film (and the enormous pay checks they are probably getting, which will require a massively popular and possibly dumbed down movie to break even) is still a red flag to me. Maybe that's the wrong phrase. It was a bigger red flag to me when you compared CYPHER RAIGE to Abulard Harkonnen.

  • July 4, 2012, 12:20 a.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    If you're coming off my garbled rantings when you reference Pursuit of Happiness, let me make my point clearer. PoH made cash money, no joke. People liked seeing father and son together, they are both attractive and likable and the movie was a harmless little sentimental feel-good drama flick ultimately for the average person. Industry wanted to throw money for awards at Smith for it, even if they didn't quite stick, and I think the movie has been mostly forgotten - except that all-important aspect that it had Will Smith and his son in it. The audience that went to PoH and liked it may indeed happily go to After Earth. Don't ask me how I know these things. There's no best picture or actor nominations coming for this one. There's not going to be any talkbacks or message boards talking about how truly great this movie is. It's going to be at least another five years before a movie with Will Smith in it is going to feel like anything to me but another Will Smith movie. Blade Runner is not a Harrison Ford movie. It's a science fiction movie. There's some point I'm trying to make here. And yes, PAD, when you start referencing other films and how people would react to them now, you are making a comparison between this film and those. But you're nearly making my own point for me. A point that even I forgot. Yeah, you're right, maybe if a movie was coming out now with some weird character name of Lando Calrissian, the internet would jump all over it in rotllmao hysterics. But that's actually the point - it's not 1980 anymore. You probably can't name a character Lando Calrissian anymore. Maybe that's sad. I don't know. But the further point is that there's weird names and there's just silly names. Darth Vader is a weird name. Count Dooku is a silly name. The quality of the respective films there speaks volumes.

  • July 4, 2012, 12:31 a.m. CST

    I noticed Peter David

    by KGersen

    didn't come back to explain why he thought the names in Blade Runner or Dune would have been ripped by people if something like AICN had existed at the time. I think this is because he realises he was wrong in these two examples. As he has also been proven wrong with regard to Indiana Jones and the Star Wars films. But hey-ho, ok ok, Cypher Raige is great name, no you're right, we're all idiots. As for the Smith family, good for them, I do think a lot of the hate on here towards them is either at best based on jealousy or at worse on racism. And as for M Night, let's hope he can make a good film and finally pull out of this nose dive he's been in for too long. I don't give a shit if his films make money for the studios, they have become increasingly shit as anyone with half a brain can tell you.

  • July 4, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    We are ALL responsible for the monstrosity known as Will Smith.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Yes, that means you! We all saw Independence Day in 1996 when it first came out. And we failed. Oh dear lord did we fail. We failed to realize the blatant plagarism from past classics like Star Wars. We failed to realize just how hokey and hammed up it was. We failed to realize just how improbably almost every single scene in that movie was. We failed. Dear lord. God's help us. We failed. And yes, I am drinking now.

  • They are actually really great otherworldy-sounding names that in some cases hint at the personalities of their possessors (Solo = loner) without being too obvious about it. Skywalker is an excellent, reasonably plausible name for a hero. Even the names in the prequels are mostly fine, and I don’t recall anyone complaining about them before Phantom Menace came out, even though the internet was going strong by then. Qui Gonn Jinn, Mace Windu, Darth Maul, Padme Amidala etc are all fine sci-fi names. They sound alien, but not stupid. Jar Jar Binks and Count Dooku are stupid names, and they are rightly mocked. Also, the movies that they were in were terrible, which suggests that the presence of silly names does correlate in at least some cases with low-quality filmmaking.

  • July 4, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Independence Day was awesome.

    by frank

    Zero rewatching value, I later discovered after buying the video, but still probably the most enjoyable theater experience I have had. I make no apologies for that.

  • July 4, 2012, 12:56 a.m. CST


    by Jeff

    M. Night I have zero faith in, but the fact Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic) is helping write the screenplay gives me the tiniest, single quanta-sized hope that at least the story might be okay. Then again, Gaghan isn't a science fiction guy. Thus he'll be more of a script editor than a story generating mind. Here's an idea from the universe for you, M. Night and Will Smith: instead of copying "Titan A.E.," at least in that film's larger concept, hire an award-winning science fiction writer like Peter Watts or Dan Simmons to write a kickass original story for you, THEN hire a screenwriter like Stephen Gaghan to adapt a screenplay for the film. Stay back, M. Night! Back, I tell you! Am I going to have to stick you with this hot fucking poker? Stay the fuck back, asshole! You suck as a writer. You got lucky once with your first film and you've basically been a trainwreck since. Get away from that computer... too late. Apparently he WAS one of the movie's writers. Great. Wonderful. Cypher Raige. Kitai Raige. Nova Prime. Great. It's amazing what a frighteningly uncreative person M. Night really is.

  • Movie poster tagline: Cage = Raige

  • July 4, 2012, 1:15 a.m. CST

    grammaton cleric binks -- Cypher Rage

    by lv_426

    Cypher Rage is when the chef overcooks that matrix steak that Cypher orders during his fancy dinner meeting with Agent Smith.

  • July 4, 2012, 1:15 a.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    I hear you on the recent SW names. Not all were bad. Some were. Some were on the edge when they got too literal, like Darth Maul. General Grievous. That's the Cypher Raige problem. It's far too literal unless it's just meant for little kids. Apparently the filmmakers and related writers do not see it this way, though it is obvious to many here.

  • July 4, 2012, 1:29 a.m. CST


    by Jeff

    And Peter David, it's good to hear from you on these boards! Much respect. You could've helped M. Night's movie quite a bit with your excellent writing skills. Like many people, I just have no reason to think M. Night will make a good movie. As a person who loves good science fiction books and films, and often talks up prominent writers and artists in the genre on these talkbacks, I really want to believe M. Night will make a compelling movie. Will and Jaden Smith are both good actors with solid track records, so I have no problem with them. Per se, anyway. I just have a problem with M. Night. I think he's one of the worst directors the world has ever seen. He has zero sense of character or drama, can't write an honest emotional interaction to save his life, and to top it off, he generates bad, often glaringly non-sensical ideas to hold his paper-thin stories together. If "After Earth" somehow grabs my attention and entertains, I'll definitely throw him some love. I will, really. But at this point -- for me, anyway -- he hasn't earned it. And the names he came up with for his characters already have me wincing.

  • July 4, 2012, 1:49 a.m. CST

    they lost me at "we have to follow a child for an entire movie"

    by chien_sale

    Especially the Karate Kid annoying one.

  • July 4, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Chien_sale, the movie sounds like shit because it IS shit

    by Starship Captain

    Here's the high concept pitch for old sci fi movie fans: Teeny Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Added selling point: "Hey, Will Smith will be in it. Well, sort of. But that's the neat trick. We'll promote it as a Will Smith movie to get asses in the seats, and by the time the audience realizes they've been suckered and it's really about his fucking kid, it'll be too late and we'll already be counting themoney." So it sounds like shit because it is shit. And that shouldn't come as a surprise. As everyone has pointed out, given his track record, M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong has proven that he has one distinct talent: creating unwatchable crap.

  • July 4, 2012, 3:56 a.m. CST

    But I hope PAD keeps posting...

    by Starship Captain

    His posts have actually made me laugh. I've never seen anyone get down on their knees and kiss ass as much as he's been doing to the Smith family's butt throughout this entire thread. Maybe he's hoping they'll adopt him or something.

  • Just kidding. I'm going to keep calling out bullshit like Jaden Smith being in movies for as long as it assuages the pain I feel from my inability to create anything. Lulz.

  • If I got the order wrong, that's really beside the point. I'm still probably right, in essence: they probably bought Whitta's script for AFTER EARTH because it has a really dumb fucking "big twist" at the end (because all of M.Night's movies have a "twist", most of which I am fine with in fact, I just found BOOK OF ELI to be retarded which is a shame because I am a fan of Whitta's).

  • You referred multiple times to my having an "opinion" about why they probably hired Whitta. Opinions can't be inaccurate. Matters of opinion are by defintion subjective and thus down to an individual's point of view. There is an objective reason for why the production company hired Whitta/bought his script, it's not a matter of opinion.

  • July 4, 2012, 7:13 a.m. CST


    by 1919


  • July 4, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST

    lv_426, so I guess he must have been chowing on the second steak, which was

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    succulent and juicy, after going in the back, and beating the chef for not cooking the first one to his liking.

  • July 4, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Question / Comments for Autodidactic

    by rmodefallacy

    Autodidact here's what I'm wondering. What's in it for you? I'm genuinely trying to understand your reasoning here. Let's just assume, from the start, that you're completely right, and Peter David is completely wrong. Let's ALSO assume that all the issues that you have about this movie, and every other movie you've thought sucked were also dead on. Even if that's the case, what is your goal for coming on this board to express those issues? Do you get pleasure out of making other people upset? If that's it, honestly, you've come to the right place and carry on. The thing is I've noticed that you seem to be trying to make reasoned arguments, and if you wanted to just piss people off, you could just yell racial epithets or something. Is it possible that you're trying to prove your superior intelligence? Now, we have some more evidence to support this point of view. Your name(I mean, come on), and your choice to use a word like assuage when the word relieve would have done perfectly well seem to strongly support the idea that proving your intelligence is very much on your agenda. I'm open to your goal of proving your intelligence as well. But, really, is this the best place to do it? I would guess that there are countless other ways that you prove your intelligence to other people, that would be more effective in both the accuracy with which they demonstrate your intelligence, and the number of people which they effect. For instance learning a complicated skill(programming perhaps), memorizing verses of the Illiad and reciting them in public, or discovering a new mathematical proof and publishing it in a scientific journal. Is it possibly that this is the path of least resistance in demonstrating your intelligence? That you want to feel good about yourself, but you've been frustrated in other avenues(school, work, personal life, etc) and you fall back on this environment for a much needed ego boost? Of course, this is assuming a lot about your personal life that I can't claim to know. However, I can know this. People who feel happy, motivated, and plugged into their lives NEVER, under any circumstances, feel the need to harass, belittle, and generally undermine other people on the internet. They're out doing, learning, creating, whatever. So, I think we can say with reasonable certainty that there must be something missing in your life to you bring to as a means of raising your self esteem. Now, the obvious response to above line of questioning is this, rmodefallacy(also a pretentious psuedo intellectual name) who are you to accuse someone of trolling internet forums to prove your own intelligence when you yourself just posted a hefty essay dedicated exclusively to undermining the reasoning of a single poster? Aren't you a massive hypocrite? Well, yes and no. I am a hypocrite because, much like you, I am trying to prove how intelligent I am. Where I would argue that what I'm doing is this post differs from your overall objective is that I'm not using innocent bystanders as my means for flaunting my own intelligence. I went after you because you placed such a high regard on reasoning, but your willingness to use your reason to put other down demonstrates a generally LACK of understanding and intelligence, and that kind of upset me. Everyone can be a forum troll. Idiots on the internet are a dime a dozen. Feel free to be an idiot. The thing is, if you want to be intelligent, and have other people think so too, try to bring up the level of your discourse just a bit.

  • July 4, 2012, 8:48 a.m. CST

    TL DR

    by Autodidact

  • July 4, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    If it walks like a duck...

    by rmodefallacy

    Wait, let me get this straight. You're not trying to prove your intelligence, but you have a view that you require a persona that, in your estimation, is the equivalent of a sock puppet used to entrance the inferior masses, because if didn't, they just couldn't comprehend the full power of your reason? This is someone who is NOT trying to prove their intelligence?

  • July 4, 2012, 9 a.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Veebeeyes: The general rule of thumb of a film's success is that you look at the budget, add 50% on top of that to allow for prints and promotion, and then see where you are. Both films, by that formula, were successful. Actually, although "Legend" made far more in box office than "Pursuit," there isn't that large a difference in terms of profitability since "Pursuit" had a much smaller budget. And no, those numbers don't indicate that it's a turn-off of any kind, except to people who are just making stuff up. The fact that "Legend" had a higher box office simply reinforces the popularity of SF in general (count how many of the top 50 grossing movies of all time are SF, fantasy or comic book related) and Will's presence in SF in particular. When you then combine Jaden's individual popularity as the box office for "Karate Kid" indicates, the notion that the two of them together will be a disincentive to audiences makes less and less sense. Kgerson--just playing the odds, is all. Speculating that people on AICN will find dumb-ass reasons to bitch about a film seems, to me, a fairly safe bet. And you can do all the retrofitting you want, laying down opinions with 20/20 hindsight. But really, there are so many talkbacks on record that show fans bitching, pissing and moaning on the flimsiest of excuses over films that they eventually embraced when they came out, that I don't see how anyone can reasonably contend it would NOT have played out as I said. Cobbelius--thanks for the kind words. Again, though, Night didn't name the characters. I should also mention that I haven't actually met the guy; I'm just too lazy to check how his last name is spelled (although I did happen to see him demolish all comers in ping pong one time while I was visiting the production offices. The guy's like the Inigo Montaya of table tennis: he switched hands just to keep himself interested and still clobbered people. If he ever challenges you, do NOT take him; you will get your ass handed to you.) To me, the bottom line is that he's still the guy who produced some great films in the past (and least in my opinion) and the script he's working with now is really good. I don't say that after the fact; I read the script before I signed on and was blown away by it. The script is what brought me on board. Spaghetti: Really. Please find for me where I said that. I mean, obviously I sure HOPE it's good. But unlike, well, just about everybody here, I don't declare a movie is going to suck based upon character names, or random photographs, or something that my brother's cousin once removed heard from this guy who knows someone who runs the craft's table. I never say a movie is "going" to be good because I have no freaking clue until I actually see it. Prndlgirl: Absolutely, I can guarantee that. And yeah, I always had a problem with that, too. I suspect I know what Night was going for; he was trying to do something akin to the germs that destroyed the Martians in "War of the Worlds." You know, having these high tech warriors wiped out by something mundane. But Wells was going for a lesson in hubris: the notion that the Martians were so full of themselves and so overconfident that they hadn't accounted for something very small, the devil being in the details. But in "Signs" it just made no sense. You could argue that the aliens didn't KNOW that H20 was lethal to them. But then you gotta figure, Jeez, that was lousy advance work. And the moment they DO realize this, saddle up and get the hell out of Dodge. Which they didnt do. So ultimately it came down to alien invaders that could be taken out by a five minute sun shower or Mrs. Pekar's kindergarten class armed with super soakers. Not that threatening. Starship: It's about the two of them. Father and son relationship. I haven't done a page count, but it seemed to me they had about the same amount of screen time. As for the Smith family, I'm just defending people I consider friends, and signing my name to my opinions. If you had some friends and didn't hide behind a fake name, you could do that, too. Autodidact: Well, it's a good thing you put "probably" in there, because it allows for the possibility that you're wrong. Which you are. Again. Overbrook acquired the script (or perhaps the studio did for them, I don't know) because they thought it was a good vehicle for Will and Jaden. They acquire a lot of scripts for that reason and others. Many don't get made. This one beat the odds. I don't know why Night in particular was approached to direct; could be for any one of a dozen reasons. But it wasn't because "After Earth" was viewed as a typical Night script, because it's not. Now: if you want to flat-out reject the facts that I'm telling you in favor of your unsupported opinion, go right ahead. But then you might want to stop reading my comments because I tend to stick to what I know. And yes, opinions can be inaccurate. There are people who have the opinion that Barack Obama is not a US citizen. They are wrong. There are people who think no one ever landed on the moon. They are wrong. Eighteen percent of Americans are of the opinion that the sun revolves around the earth. The reason I know this was opinion rather than theory is that it was part of an opinion poll. They are wrong. Opinions are not immune from the notion of "garbage in, garbage out." It's always popular to say that people are entitled to their opinions. I prefer to think that people are entitled to their informed opinions. The definition of a theory is something that cannot be definitively proven one way or the other. An opinion, on the other hand, can be proven absolutely right or absolutely wrong. I've read every draft of the script from the very first one, and there is no Night-esque big shock twist ending. Therefore, you are factually wrong. Therefore, you are not presenting theory but opinion, and an uninformed one at that. But hey: if you want to claim that people who believe the sun revolves around the earth are not, in fact, dumb schmucks, but instead are equally as valid in their beliefs as scientists, scholars, and anyone who stayed awake during kindergarten science class, you knock yourself out. PAD

  • July 4, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Choosing the perfect word is gratifying.

    by Autodidact

    Or should I say "satisfying".

  • I'll give you this: My personal life *is* rather fucked up! But I have a lot of potential ;D

  • July 4, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    A message from a lesser being

    by rmodefallacy

    Wait, I missed a possible explanation. I missed the possibility that you are just, in fact, intellectually superior. Let me append my argument then. If you're intellectually superior, why are you wasting your time arguing and discussing with your intellectual inferiors? Shouldn't you be seeking out people of your imposing intellectual stature to discuss things with?

  • July 4, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Not if you don't learn from your mistakes. PAD

  • My ideas about the why-fors around who's writing and who directed, accurate or not, are a theory, not an opinion. Now that you've presented the facts, I stand corrected on my *theory*. But never will you convince me that I had an "opinion".

  • July 4, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    rmodel... why do gods speak with men?

    by Autodidact

  • July 4, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Not here to prove your intelligence?

    by Peter David

    Color me not surprised, Auto. Look: there's always excuses not to sign your name to your opinions. You don't want to get spammed. You don't want to be harassed. Whatever. I mean, this country was founded by landed, titled men who risked losing everything including their lives when they attached their names to a piece of paper over 200 years ago this very day, and their descendants don't want to sign their names to their opinions because they're afraid of getting unwanted email, but never mind that. Yours is certainly the most ridiculous one I've heard: you require a separate persona to explain contradictions? It "saves" you from creating sock puppets? That's both absurd and lazy thinking. And the reason it's absurd and lazy is BECAUSE you don't sign your name to anything, and so don't feel any need to give what you're doing any thought. I put forward an opinion and defend it. And if later I put forward a contradictory opinion, I'll defend that. And if someone points out the contradiction, then I'll explain the seeming conflict, or--at worst--quote Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" and call it a day. But I don't hide behind fake names, because I grew up learning that if you have the courage of your convictions, you attach your name to them. And the Internet has gone a long way to destroying that. And that's a shame. PAD

  • It's got nothing to do with using a sock-puppet to communicate with idle masses. Sock puppets are used by trolls and other species of forum denizen to pseudonymously garner consensus, forment conflict, or otherwise stir the pot. Sorry for all the big words.

  • So you may want to think twice before bringing "fascist" into the mix. Asking that people know what the hell they're talking about , and giving no value to people who don't but pretend they do, is nothing more than simple common sense. Are you learning yet? Because I guarantee you, your life will continue to be fucked up until you do. PAD

  • July 4, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Peter... no YOU don't know

    by Autodidact

    Talk about an intelligent discussion.

  • July 4, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Yes, very impressive big words, there, Auto.

    by Peter David

    And some of them are even real. Like "consensus." On the other hand, "forment" doesn't exist. Perhaps it does, in your opinion. But it doesn't. "Foment" does. That's a fact, which invalidates your opinion. If a theory can be disproven, then it's no longer a theory. It's just a wrong opinion. My opinion is that you have no freaking clue what you're talking about. PAD

  • July 4, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    The Twist?

    by El Cimarron

    The twist is that they should've been on Earth all along cuz the government is still mining there and needed the earthlings out. Or something.

  • July 4, 2012, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Peter David

    by KGersen

    thanks for coming back on replying to people, including myself. I hope this film is good, very good, as I love sci-fi and the more highly successful AND well plotted sci-fi films out there, the better for me. I do take some comfort that the script drew you to this film. Fingers crossed.

  • That said, I do think Will Smith is a fine actor and a good Philly boy. But, I have no interest in his kid. I have seen nothing from him as yet that has convinced me if Will Smith wasn't his father that he would be acting in Major motion pictures.

  • July 4, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Also, Peter, unlike Bob Orci, you do not seem to get these Talkbacks

    by SergeantStedenko

    People come here to discuss films, of course, and despite the bad rep based on a few assholes, that is the majority of what goes on here. But, what is great about theses particular message boards is that they are not censored or monitored fascisticly and people can speak freely. Not everything has to be so serious. This place is a creative output for many of us. That probably seems sad or pathetic to you, but many of us are writers and filmmakers and work in the industry ourselves. Some of the funniest content I've seen on the Internet came from posts to these TalkbacksPeople. I visited AICN for a couple years before I ever posted. And my main draw was the wild and Wooly discourse and mayhem that goes on in these Talkbacks even before I posted a single thing myself. It is cool that you're posting here. But, chill and don't be so serious all the time. Have some fun like Roberto.

  • One of the contradictions is that I'll alternately, sometimes simultaneously, offer opinions and theories that are fully thought out, insightful, maybe even beautiful sometimes. Right alongside the most moronic shit that I pull straight out of my ass and I know is probably wrong. You're completely right about one thing: I do this anonymously for a reason. When people are interacting with the real me I don't troll them. Verrry insightful. (that was a sarcastic dig... it was not insightful... it's like you're new to the internet or something).

  • July 4, 2012, 1:08 p.m. CST

    I hope this summary ruined the twist....

    by Anaximandar

    I could see M. Night reading this and the veins bulging in his forwarded as he starts screaming at his entourage: "They weren't supposed to know that Cypher and Kitai crashed on Earth! That was the big reveal!!! Arrgahghaghaghgarblgarblfarblegar!!!!'

  • July 4, 2012, 1:40 p.m. CST

    You know what's pathethic here, Peter David, one of the great modern sci-fi writers

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    who has written for comics, television, adaptations of novel, original novels, etc. just wants to sit here, be one of us, have discussions, and the same geeks who buy his stuff are the same one trashing him because they disagree with him on a some points. This is why I'm in The Zone so much. Here it's "This movie sucks, and if you disagree with me you suck." It's like the land of five-year-olds. You can disagree with someone without being as ass. I guarantee if you guys were at Comic-Con or somewhere you wouldn't be talking to him this way. Unfortunately Peter you're trying to use logic and reason on these people. I commend you for it, but it's a language that many here don't understand. Not that you should stop trying. I'm trying now. You never know.

  • July 4, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST

    apologies, peter.

    by JAMF

    on behalf of the dimwits, whatever their opinions you deserve to be talked to politely. you are not and will never be, the one we call boborci.

  • July 4, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Thanks, guys

    by Peter David

    I appreciate the kind words. I guess I have two questions: 1) What's "The Zone?" 2) I'm inferring from context that being boborci is a bad thing? I actually thought at first you were referring to some manner of italian bread. I checked and I assume you mean writer/producer Roberto Orci. I dunno: I wasn't wild about "The Legend of Zorro" or "Cowboys and Aliens," but I liked "Star Trek" and he exec produces "Hawaii Five-0" which I love, so he's not all bad. PAD

  • July 4, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    fuck off peter

    by SpaghettiWall

  • July 4, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Fucking 'Thunder Dome' up in here.

    by DoctorWho?

  • If we talkbackers or any regular old moviegoer reacts negatively to a character name such as Cypher Raige, we are seen as being immature or the now hot term of "hater" as was the case we saw with Prometheus criticisms. It is how Hollywood perceives us. Those of us supposed white trash flyover country zombie masses trying to express an opinion on a film or trying to submit work to Hollywood in the form of a spec script or indie film, we are perceived as being shitheads and amateurs and a waste of time. If a Hollywood insider pitches or submits the same ideas, it is likely seriously considered for purchase by a studio or production company. Why is there so much obsession with remakes and prequels/sequels? Partly because they believe it is as close to a sure thing for profit. It is also I'd wager, because doing new films based upon new ideas means probably opening the gates of Rome to the barbarian hordes of flyover country to cull those new ideas. Our opinions, theories, etc... will never be looked at as anything but chump change rattling around in what Hollywood perceives to be empty skulls. This rant is not directed at Peter David either. It is just a rant on what I believe to be the general state of things, the attitude of Hollywood towards us unwashed masses. There is no reason we should feel bad about our bitch-fits and rants, even over things as small as a fictional name like Cypher Raige. You guys don't owe Hollywood anything. If the name sounds stupid in your opinion, then it sounds stupid to you. It is what it is. Script readers and movie studio execs are supposedly more nitpicky than we are from what I've heard. I'd like to not believe that, but then why do we continue to see the death of the original idea to make way for the same old prequel-sequel-reboot bandwagon? Or even take it down a notch to novels being adapted. Not re-adaptations of books already made into successful films, but adapting a novel that has never been made into a film. Someone tell me with a straight face that there are no good novels, let alone new spec scripts being submitted that are worthy of being at least considered as material for a new film. I just can't buy that, but that is the ruling mentality now. No one in the movie industry wants to read anything, especially something new. So I guess After Earth has the fact that it is a new, non-franchise/IP crassly conceived $$$ in their eyes over toys style movie. That is one of the things about M. Night's approach to filmmaking that I appreciate. He tries to do new films, new stories... when I'm sure he could have done safe known-IP films on assignment for fatter paychecks for the last decade. Besides The Last Airbender, he's been consistently making new films from original spec scripts he's written. So I'll check out After Earth, because I still appreciate what M. Night tries to do, in that he is a mainstream filmmaker that tries to bring new stories to the screen. I'll also check the film out because I like science fiction. Now I must get back to working on my epic horror film about a mad geneticist named Dr. Frank N. Stein.

  • July 4, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Also, they've only given us a tidbit of info about this film

    by lv_426

    Sure it isn't enough to praise or condemn the film, but it isn't surprising that anyone would possibly react in a negative way towards a name like Cypher Raige. Think of how if something like The Matrix had been presented to us in a similar manner, basically a glorified logline/summary paragraph: In The Matrix, two hundred years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s demise and enslavement by sentient machines, The virtual metropolis Mega City and dystopic underworld Zion have become mankind’s new homes. Legendary hacker terrorist Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne) works between these two worlds and recruits expert hacker Neo (played by Keanu Reeves). When villainous Agent Smith captures Morpheus, Neo must rescue Morpheus and decide if he is truly the One to walk the path that breaks humanity free from the machine overlords. The above is much less potent than this simple logline for The Matrix: A young hacker discovers the world we know is a dream, created by intelligent machines to enslave humanity. Now he must lead a rebellion to free Mankind—while pursued by virtual assassins no man has ever defeated. Looking at The Matrix, yes it had known actors in the film with Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, but overall it was simply presented to us by a teaser trailer then a regular theatrical trailer. By the time we actually see a trailer for After Earth, the film will have already been hyped up considerably, plus the fact that we already know the basic plot now. The same thing happened with Prometheus. Ridley Scott spilled the beans a year ago when he said it was all based on Chariots of the Gods (gee, thanks for giving away the whole big surprise/revelation of the film there Sir Rids).

  • July 4, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    The Zone, look at the top of the page. The first line has links to various areas.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    The Zone is an area at AICN where there are a myriad of different forums to discuss whatever topic you want. I hang out with guys with similar tastes to avoid a lot of the dribble topside.

  • July 4, 2012, 8:47 p.m. CST

    I can't say how Hollywood perceives you

    by Peter David

    But if it does perceive your opinions as chump change rattling around in empty skulls... Can you blame them? I've seen people here who purport to be adults go batshit crazy over the big screen "Smurfs," for God's sake. Seriously: what kind of adult has a complete meltdown about that? The boards abound with uninformed opinions from people whose knee-jerk reaction to everything is "It's going to suck," all posted behind names that range from the obscure to the puerile to the juvenile. If Hollywood has any opinion of the denizens of AICN, it's that you've got the group dynamics of a pack of howler monkeys: You scream at the top of your lungs while throwing shit at everything in sight, including each other. And when called on it, the high end of excuse is "We're having fun" while the low end is, "Fuck you, you fucking fuck." If you want Hollywood to listen to you, sign your names to your opinions, lose the 8th grade jock mindset, discourage people from acting like assholes, kick the level of discourse up a few notches, and grow the fuck up. Or fight for the right to act like juvenile schmucks. It's your call. PAD

  • July 4, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Schmucks, fuck, shit, assholes

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Sounds like someone's getting all CYPHER RAIGE up in this bitch Aw hell naw The Shyamalan twist at the end of this talkback is where you discover you've been taking anonymous comments on an AICN talkback so seriously, that you're seriously trying to explain why they aren't taken seriously.

  • July 4, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST


    by Jeff

    It's good to read you thought the "After Earth" script was quality, Peter. Everyone has varying opinions about such things, sure, but I think you, as a well-respected writer, would know compelling from crappy, so I take this news as very hopeful. Cool. Maybe M. Night will surprise us, then. I hope he does.

  • July 5, 2012, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Fuck you, you fucking fuck

    by Autodidact

  • July 5, 2012, 2:03 a.m. CST

    @lv-426, concerning The Matrix...

    by veebeeyes

    That's EXACTLY why I care so little about the goddamned names. Context is everything. Present the Matrix character names in the appropriate context, and no one has a problem with it. If their names were revealed like THIS, then it'd probably seem just as stupid. The point is, there's so little information that's been revealed about this movie, that stuff such as ridiculous character names can't help but to be viewed WITHOUT much context. So basically, we have Peter David arguing that the names work and aren't stupid, and that there are legitimate reasons for those names as far as how they pertain to the story. While I'll take his word on that for now (while also being to call him out on bullshit if it is indeed later evident that what he's saying is a bunch of bullshit), lots of people here DON'T trust him on that. And why should they? The script isn't available for them to read, but the names HAVE been released. Saying that the names work for the story doesn't mean anything NOW, since there's nothing right now to back that statement up. Similarly, it's stupid to be like, "names are ridiculous, movie is going to be shit." How can anyone possibly know that based on the TINY bit of information that's been released? The "haters" might be right as well, but they ALSO don't have anything to really back up what they're saying. Right now, all anyone has is SPECULATION that the movie will be good or bad. And that's fine. Speculate to hell about stuff based on a lack of context. That's what people do here. I just hope that everyone sees this for what it is. Right now, it's pretty much ALL just pointless arguing for the sake of arguing, and doesn't get anyone anywhere. Sure, the people here absolutely hate on everything even when they don't have a proper foundation for being so negative. But on what grounds is anyone supposed to be optimistic about this either? Everyone just needs to cool the fuck down, have a drink or smoke a bowl or whatever it is that helps you guys relax. LET IT GO, until we know more about the fucking movie and are actually able to view stuff in a better CONTEXT (ultimately, the test is whether the FINISHED movie is any good). Unless the people here just ENJOY arguing about dumb and petty bullshit. Which...actually I don't think there's anything wrong with that, so long as everyone realizes that's basically what this amounts to at this stage. Hell, I do it all the time, and have fun doing it. I don't post much on these talkbacks, but I love reading them specifically BECAUSE those kinds of arguments can get incredibly entertaining. So yeah...keep at it if you want. If people enjoy that, then fine. I just sincerely hope they realize that at this early stage with this little information being available, that the whole "I'm right, you're wrong" act is nothing but bullshit.

  • July 5, 2012, 2:45 a.m. CST

    @Peter David

    by veebeeyes

    And again...I really have to restate that I think it's simply WONDERFUL that someone involved with the movie is actually taking the time to talk with us. Not under an alias, not as some sort of anonymous "plant", but actually coming to talk about it on a public forum without hiding behind a dumb name. I appreciate that, I truly do. I'd also like to see that happen more often. But really...what you're SAYING really isn't all that different from the standard AICN argumentative bullshit. You like to characterize the people here as hateful bastards who dominate discussions with their negativity, but look what is happening HERE. People are hating on the movie and the actors and whatever else for dumbass reasons. And MANY of your posts have been about how those comments are stupid as hell, while you simultaneously don't really offer anything informative. That's not entirely correct. You DID inform us about the panel at comic con or something. Remember everyone: attend if possible! I can't make it, but I sure would if I could. But my point being: you're sort of saying "attend the panel and we'll answer your questions." That's fine. That's absolutely fine. But that also HASN'T HAPPENED YET, has it? You also apparently aren't going to spill those beans now in this forum, so WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE DISCUSSING HERE? You're absolutely correct...these are hateful forums. And it's probably like...10% of total worthless hateful bastards dominating discussions and dragging everyone else into the mud. is THIS any different? If there's a problem, then it isn't JUST that the minority of extra-vocal and extra-hateful bastards manage to drag discussion down into the sewers. The problem is also THAT EVERYONE ELSE FOLLOWS ALONG WITH THAT. This discussion is just standard operating procedure here. Remember that the Negative Nancies wouldn't get ANYWHERE without the optimistic people willing to argue with them about stupid bullshit. You ARE arguing with them. You're arguing with them when the movie is still in such an early stage, and when it HASN'T been made clear exactly how the names work. You're basically saying to trust you, because you have inside information that we just aren't privy to yet. That's no different than the Negative Nancies essentially saying "trust me, this movie will be shit because I'm really good at seeing the warning signs." Here's the thing...I don't see Shyamalan posting here defending his reputation. I don't see Will Smith posting here defending a movie that's in only the very early stages. Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to chat with them about movies. But they aren't here. YOU are. And aside from informing us of the comic con panel in which you're willing to answer questions, EVERYTHING ELSE has just sort of been par for the course here. Meaning that you let the haters drag you down into the mud along with them. That's fine if you're cool with that. But if you're not cool with that, then be aware that I really STILL don't have any legitimate reason to have faith in the movie or the script or the conceptual universe, or to not think that the names are stupid as hell if I thought that the names were stupid as hell in the first place. NOTHING CHANGED here. no one has any new information, we're STILL just arguing about fucking names that may or may not be good or ridiculous depending on a context and a story which isn't yet apparent. ALL that this was is a bunch of arguing for argument's sake. I'm not gonna say that that's bad or good. But considering that you actually were involved with the movie and know the Smiths and yadda yadda yadda, what happened here? Arguments about the names, arguments about nepotism, blah blah blah. That would've happened anyway. And we still don't know shit that we didn't know before. And it took a hell of a lot of arguing to get nowhere. So yeah...I'm just saying. This is what happened here. One can point the finger at the People Who Hate Everything, but those people are only part of the problem. The othe part of the problem consists of people like you and me and the other 90%, who DON'T just hate everything but still somehow make a shitload of posts and then look back to see that it was the haters guiding everything that we talked about. The problem is not the People Who Hate Everything, the problem is the people who are ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS in that kind of bullshit. That includes both the haters, and the defenders who don't know when to let it go and just stop discussing that shit in that particular context. I'm totally that kind of person. And based on everything I've seen here, SO ARE YOU. This particular talkback turned into trash (and frankly, was pretty much mostly trash from the beginning). You contributed to that happening, I contributed to that happening, and so did the other people who let the Hardcore Haters steer this talkback into what it now is.

  • July 5, 2012, 6:35 a.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Pmdlgirl--Well, I appreciate the vote of confidence. And I think you're absolutely right: when people see someone's point, oftentimes they do retrench ("double down" is the phrase I usually employ) and hold fast to their opinions, no matter how unsupported. And uh, yes, I did notice the "girl" part of your handle and gave you the benefit of the doubt about having a vagina and liking science fiction. So do some of my best friends, including my wife. And I suppose what I most appreciate is that you actually believe what I say. There are STILL people talking about the non-existent "twist ending" as if I hadn't said explicitly that there isn't one. And personally I think "Wanna pet my Kitai?" would have been funnier, but that's just me. Veebeyes--I've actually offered tons of information. Mostly it's in the form of correcting misconceptions. People getting the entire genesis of the project wrong, and I've told them how it came about. People speculating about the plot and I've told them, "No, that's not what happens here." I've been judicious about specifics because I've signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and if I violate it, that could have serious negative consequences, career wise. However, cards on the table: One of the members of the Smith family contacted me a couple days ago. He'd read this forum and wanted me to explain the specific reasons for the names of the characters. I advised him against it because I frankly didn't see the upside. I figured that people would just bitch about it; more fodder. But if the information I've already provided you is insufficient, and since it's been signed off on, here is the explanation: It all stems from the father/son dynamic that is the thematic underpinning of the film. Not just the dynamic of Cypher and Kitai, but also Cypher and his own dad (long dead by the time of the film.) Cypher's dad was, shall we say, a piece of work. A stern, strict, hyper demanding military man, he named his son "Cypher" hewing to the definition of a cypher being "zero; a person of little or no consequence." This way, in his father's twisted logic, he'd never be disappointed in him. With his own son, Cypher took the opposite approach: "Kitai" is Japanese and translates to "hope and expectation." Unfortunately, because of various subsequent events that will be depicted toward the beginning of the film, Kitai and Cypher's relationship becomes as strained and fractured as Cypher's did with his own father. And it is that dynamic against which the events of the film play out. And if people have trouble with the name "Raige," well, that's the way that goes. To me it's a Dickensian name and no more stupid than "Skywalker." Honestly, it's impossible to understand what AICN people want in terms of revelations. On the one hand there are complaints about lack of information. On the other hand people complained because it was revealed that the story is largely set on an uninhabitable Earth because they thought the non-existent "shock twist" ending had been revealed. And it didn't matter how many times I said there wasn't a shock twist ending; they were so busy trashing Night that it literally didn't register on them. And yes, I know that's because AICN isn't some vast monolithic entity with a single group mind, but you must see the no-win-scenario aspect of the situation. PAD

  • July 5, 2012, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Oh, and just to make it clear:

    by Peter David

    I didn't come here at someone else's behest. I was already commenting. He'd seen my responses and figured that since I was more familiar with the venue than he was, he'd give me the green light to talk about the specifics while leaving it to me to judge the best way to disseminate information. PAD

  • July 5, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    alienfanatic... thanks I need a new keyboard now

    by MurderMostFowl

    Holy shit that was funny. I had to hold my mouth with my hand so that my breakfast cereal didn't fall out as I laughed. Hats off to you.

  • July 5, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    And that's fine, Pmdlgirl

    by Peter David

    You're the one wearing it, so the joke should be entirely in your comfort zone. PAD

  • July 5, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the explanationm that works for me.

    by veebeeyes

    Of course, I never needed an explanation in the first place, I was just content to wait and see. Anyway, I think you're right that it's not going to be sufficient for many of the people here, and if anything will just give them more to bitch about with comments like "sounds stupid" or "you just pulled that explanation out of your ass." Again, it's still just talk. It might be CORRECT talk, but talk is kind of cheap. The ultimate test is going to be the movie. Until people here can look at everything within the context of the movie as a whole (and hell, probably even AFTER that), it's largely going to be "bitch bitch bitch" here. That's just how things go here.

  • I applaud you for being involved in creating something original, if a bit derivative. But, don't come here all holier than thou, and act like real film fans don't have a reason to hate what Hollywood has been giving them. I respect you as a writer and it's cool that you're here, but I'm tired Hollywood people coming here and telling us how bad we are because we refuse to lower our standards. And yes there are "Fuck you, you fucking fuck" assholes/trolls here as in every single message board on the internets. Just check out CNN.

  • July 5, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Peter, also

    by SergeantStedenko

    I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the odds of prndlgirl being an actual female are slim to none. How many women refer to their genitals as a "Vag?"

  • July 5, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    "Real film fans"

    by Peter David

    See, that's where we part company, Sarge. That right there. I don't see "real" fans here, because to me a "real" fan of something should have a fundamental love of something. But AICN is a sort of no-man's land of hostility, a massive worm ouroboros constantly devouring its own tail. Anonymous people looking for reasons, not to support films, but to tear down movies and each other at the slightest, flimsiest of excuses. The cynicism here is just insanely over the top, and believe me, for a Mets fan to say that, that's saying something. You might ask if I'm suggesting that fans should blindly support everything. Of course not, because then their praise would mean nothing. But don't you see that the opposite is true? That because their knee jerk response is to condemn everything, then that likewise means nothing? Does a real film fan have reason to hate what Hollywood has been giving them? Well, if he's got no sense of history, then yeah, I guess. But Hollywood hasn't really changed. I mean, yeah, they pull material from other sources, and they do remakes, and series of films. But when HAVEN'T they done that? Doing movies based on books gave us "Gone With the Wind." Remakes? How any versions of "Christmas Carol" are there? How many of "The Three Musketeers?" A 1937 play called "Parfumerie" was made into "The Shop Around the Corner," which was remade into "In the Good Old Summertime," which was remade into "She Loves Me," which was remade into "You've Got Mail." And now we have endless "James Bond" movies, and in the old days it was "Perry Mason" movies and "Thin Man" movies and "The Saint" movies. Hollywood is no different than anything else: It's filled with people trying to make a living. Half the time when they produce a classic, they do it by accident. The main reason "Casablanca" was made was to try and cash in on the success of "Algiers." In a universe just off to the side a little, Ilsa wound up with Rick who was played by Ronald Reagan. Dorothy Gale was played by Shirley Temple and the studio cut "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" because they felt it was too slow. And "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was a one-off because Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones once again couldn't carry a feature film. So to me, a "real film fan," rather than succumbing to hatred and cynicism and all that "dark side of the Force" shit, should be focusing his efforts on celebrating (as per Sturgeon's law) the ten percent that's good, and enthusiastically hoping that upcoming films will beat the odds. A real film fan should look for reasons to root for a film to succeed, rather than seize upon the slightest excuse to predict its failure. If anyone from Hollywood says you're "bad," it's because your standards are too low. You form half-assed opinions based on the flimsiest of excuses, most of which stem not from what's in front of you, but a depthless well of cynicism and pessimism. I'm not asking you to lower your standards. I'm suggesting rather that you raise them. Raise them to a point where, for instance, if someone leaks a backstage picture, you guys don't use it as an excuse to launch a 300 message thread about how the movie is going to suck (and those look all the more ridiculous if/when it becomes a critically acclaimed success). Raise your standards to the point where you realize that William Goldman's declaration about Hollywood--"Nobody knows anything"--is absolutely right. Producers put together films with top writers, top directors, top stars, and you can get total crap. Or put together a film with an unlikely assemblage of talent and get pure gold. Nobody knows anything until it's up on the screen and audiences are showing up or not showing up. Raise your standards so that you have enough guts to sign your names to your opinions like adults do. Then maybe Hollywood will listen to you and take your seriously. Which is what I thought you ultimately desired. PAD

  • July 5, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    That's just your opinion

    by Autodidact

    Or theory.

  • July 5, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST


    by SergeantStedenko

    You're right about Hollywood remakes and adaptations and Goldman is right about "Nobody knows anything" when it come to films. But, the problem with Hollywood now is that the studio execs do think they know something based on all their demographic and market research. When I lived in Hollywood years ago my friend actually had a telemarketing job where he would take surveys over the phone about all kinds of information about what people liked regarding movies. The biggest problem I see today is that nobody is willing to take a chance anymore. That's why you have to have a big name like Will Smith attached to your scifi film to even have a chance of it being greenlit. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and remakes. They are safe bets at the expense of art. By contrast the cast of Star Wars were unknown saved Guinness who was hardly a Box Office draw in the States at that time. I guess I shouldn't get bothered by the lowest common denominator status quo B.S. that makes up most of what Hollywood produces and focus on the 10% art that does make it through the machine somehow. I mean, it is a business and if people want to eat fast food who am I to tell them they shouldn't because its not healthy or tell anyone that they should stop producing garbage that others are willing to pay for. And you're right, it is ridiculous for me to call myself a real film fan. I am just a film fan like everyone else who loves film. I just happen to have high standards. In my opinion, life is too short and there are too many good movies I haven't seen yet to waste time watching the bad junk food films. Peace MJS

  • July 5, 2012, 4:29 p.m. CST

    I also wish I could do a better job defending us talkbackers, but

    by SergeantStedenko

    why should I waste my time trying to defend all these assholes.

  • July 5, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    nobody knows anything

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    The knee-jerk response to say "everything under the sun sucks" that you speak of is not the behavior of the majority here, I think. Your argument seems to be one of deflection, "oh, you guys say everything sucks so what's the point." I don't say everything sucks. I think M. Night sucks. He's made some seriously bad films, and if there's a lack of respect for Hollywood here then it's because of awful decisions like that "it" has made - handing M. Night the reins of a well-loved cartoon / potential family film franchise in the form of The Last Airbender. You see how that one worked out? You think "nobody knows anything", but what does that really mean. M. Night has dropped a load of unwatchable turds. I'm supposed to excited for another? I'm supposed to expect the milkman to bring me fresh milk after weeks of it being rotten? I'm supposed to refrain from having a laugh at silly character names? I've been checking out AICN for ten years, honestly I can't remember any thread like this where so many people immediately jumped in laughing at the main character's name. But "nobody knows anything" so feel free to ignore it, ok. And regarding anonymity, maybe anonymity would have saved some of Hollywood's turds from landing in the toilet water. In the corporate world, be it Hollywood or otherwise, often people are afraid to speak - afraid to call a turd a turd. I know this - I've worked in television marketing my entire corporate career, for the very biggest networks. Anonymous trolling and baiting is not helpful. But anonymous comments will let you know how some people really feel who may feel constrained to say otherwise. An "epic" sci-fi film with a Will Smith budget shouldn't be allowed to go blindly down a dark tunnel with all the sycophants shouting YES THIS WILL BE GREAT. Your great Hollywood has been doing test screenings for a good number of decades now - so, when they take comments from an audience, do they ask everyone to write their name? Would forcing them to do so ensure people were really speaking their mind? Maybe "nobody knows anything" to some 100% level of objective clairvoyance, but I have a damn good bet on The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit this year. Just as I did on The Avengers. On both their critical and financial successes. Because, to paraphrase George Carlin: "You never know." Not true. Sometimes, you know.

  • July 5, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Of course no one wants to take a chance

    by Peter David

    There's no incentive for them to do so. No one loses their job by saying "no." The moment someone says "yes," particularly if it's going to be something more than an inexpensive rom-com, they're sticking their neck out. Having a movie star in a movie is more than just a look toward big box office; it helps job security. If you have a bankable star and then the film tanks, the exec can say, "Well, his last two films brought in upwards of $900 Million. It seemed like a good bet." And you (may) live to fight another day. But you're wrong to say that films can only be made if high powered stars are attached. A growing popular alternative is sharing the risk. Two, three studios and assorted production companies teaming up to spread the expense around. That's why you wind up seeing half a dozen cards popping up at the top of the titles. I don't buy into the notion that big budget pop corn flicks are made at the expense of art. I think they're promoted at the expense of art. The art gets made; it's just harder for it to reach its audience. But a balance can be struck. My daughter runs, with her husband, a movie theater in Jacksonville, FL called the Sun-Ray Cinema. Sometimes they run big budget tent pole movies and the success of those enables them to run smaller art films. Same thing with the studios. Sometimes the "junk food" films that you so deplore bring large amounts of money into the coffers that enable them to do films that they expect to appeal to a smaller audience. And interestingly, sometimes they take off and wind up being more profitable. Give me a $5 million budget film that makes $85 million over a $100 million film that makes $200 million any day. But that's just me. As for your standards, me life is too short to limit myself. I prefer a world where I can see "The Artist" and "Mission Impossible" and find enjoyment in both. Just as one day I might be in the mood for filet mignon and the next day a Big Mac. PAD

  • July 5, 2012, 5:11 p.m. CST

    voiceofsaruman, should be rephrased, 'Nobody "learns" anything'

    by SergeantStedenko

    Because as you mention, they keep hiring Shyamalan.

  • July 5, 2012, 5:15 p.m. CST

    sergeantstedenko, agreed

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Or, they are learning something that we don't really like or care to know, like about how bad and/or forgettable movies can make profits anyway, or about tax write-offs.

  • July 5, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan continues his quest for the perfect...

    by Syberean

    cure for insomnia.

  • July 5, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Saruman: Well, since you don't seem inclined to present any proof to the contrary other than your opinion, I will simply reply that knee-jerk "it's gonna suck" reactions seem the response of choice. Or, to put it another way: there sure seems to be a tendency to look for things to bitch about. Oftentimes they don't even bother to explain their opinions. Announce something and immediately you see "Meh!" "Pass!" "Sounds terrible!" Frankly, I have every confidence that if Spielberg were directing "After Earth" and the character names were John and Bob, Talkback would have consisted of "I still haven't forgiven Spielberg for Crystal Skull!" and "More Smith nepotism? Forget it." As far as Night goes, to me it's very simple: Will Smith has terrific instincts and has a track record of not making mistakes. Overbrook picked Night for the job. If Will didn't think Night could do a great job with it, he wouldn't have picked him. And as much as people want to declare with 20/20 hindsight that Night is a lousy director, the fact is that once upon a time, everyone loved him. So I don't see why Night, teamed with Will who has solid creative instincts, can't have this film be a return to form. In fact, to be honest, I think it took guts on Will's part to take on a director who tons of people will be waiting for in the high grass, sharpening their knives. I like your explanation of fake names, though. It's very original. It's tripe, of course; just another self-serving excuse not to stand behind your opinions. Oh, you're all doing Hollywood a favor because, by not signing your names, you're able to speak your minds. Nonsense. I speak my mind, and I sign my opinions. People have tried to crash my website because they don't like something I've said. People have tried to get me fired from various jobs as revenge because they didn't like what I had to say. (Yes, they're just that petty.) And yet somehow, amazingly, I don't find excuses not to sign my name. Funny how people rattle off so MANY reasons to speak from hiding. Strangely, there's only one excuse TO sign your name: because you're not afraid. So I'll take my reason against all the contrary rationalizations, thanks. pmdlgirl: * shrug * Should it matter? You say you're a female. Okay. I don't know why I should think otherwise. Because of how you refer to your genitalia? I think Sarah Silverman has referred to her vaginal area with every term ever invented at one time or another. And if you're a male pretending to be a female, well, there's plenty of guys doing that and making a good living at it. It just doesn't seem all that relevant to anything, unless you started hitting on me, in which case, flattered but married. PAD

  • July 5, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    guys pretending to be girls

    by lv_426

    Wasn't there a Charlie Sheen movie about that? He pretended to be a female advice columnist or something along those lines? Now that is a premise that is beyond belief now that Charlie has gone a bit cuckoo bird. Or shall I say gone a bit tiger blood?

  • July 5, 2012, 10:51 p.m. CST


    by VoiceOfSaruman

    While I think they might be a loud but small minority, you're right, I would not be surprised if people bitched about Spielberg directing After Earth, and I think they'd be entitled to that opinion. My own is, I myself give him a pass and hope for more future returns to form (he's no Shyamalan), but Crystal Skull was indeed a depressing exercise in terribly bad judgment from the great director, one that casts a bit of crap shadow on a much-loved franchise, and it might make a geek audience more skeptical about him hitting a home run next time at bat. To assume that it would not, for some people on some level, is just denial. The anonymity thing; I think you'll find many far more respectable sites than this one rife with anonymous discussion; when are you getting around to the rest of the internet and doing your calling-people-cowards routine? "Everything sucks" mentality of AICN: I think if you look back at one of the early The Last Airbender talkbacks, you'll see amongst the naysayers quite a great many people optimistic and positive about the film - pre-release. People who thought the trailer looked good, liked the source material, and were willing to give M. Night another chance. 6% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes tells the tale of who was correct. The naysayers aren't always right, that's not what I mean. I mean that you will find positive and optimistic views here. Which are sometimes proved "right" or proved "wrong." Your hasty need to go straight to generalities, about names in films, about AICN negativity, and about anyone who doesn't sign their comments with full name on the internet makes you sound like a babe in the woods. It's the kind of stuff that any writer defensive (and perhaps apprehensive) about the reception of his work might write, time and time again on a hundred web sites. Let's hope After Earth is a little less predictable. I'd be happy to be proved wrong, revise my opinion of Shyamalan and everything else here, come next June. I hope you'll be back then too. I'll be asking for you.

  • I actually really love M. Night's directing style. I think his film's problems these past few years have been down to his scripts. I haven't seen The Last Airbender though, but even a flawed film like Lady in the Water was one I liked enough elements from to not see it as a failure like most people did. It was as he said in interviews and in the book The Man Who Heard Voices, a very personal film for him. People took it the wrong way when he played the part of the writer tenant that cranks out the supposedly important book. Everyone saw it merely as just his ego blowing up bigger, which maybe the case, I don't know, but I don't think it was. It doesn't matter at this point, as he'll never convince the masses otherwise. So the stories for LITW and The Happening weren't up to the quality level of his others, but in terms of the technique, they were still pretty good. Although Mark Wahlberg did act a bit odd in The Happening. Maybe a case of Wahlberg just not being suited for that role. He reminded me of Dirk Diggler without the ego and if Dirk became a teacher in his middle age. Oh and in a few scenes Zoey Deschanel seemed to be in a bit of a trance. Weird but not a film-ruinier either IMO. Anyways, Night is skilled at suspenseful buildups and interesting but deliberate camera blocking. He also utilizes his cast pretty well in most cases. Also, I appreciate that he does have a distinctive voice as a filmmaker. He is not just another Len Wiseman or JJ Abrams, who aren't necessarily bad directors on a technical level, but whose films don't seem to have that special magic mojo that M. Night's work does, or say the films of Alfonso Cuaron or David Fincher for example. If anything, one of Night's biggest strengths is that he knows how to shoot really long almost old fashioned style takes that work well in place of the standard MTV/Michael Bay style quick cuts. Even masters of long drawn out takes like Ridley Scott have fallen prey to this MTV style in more recent years. M. Night definitely has a refreshingly old fashioned mentality to some of his directing technique. I dig it. So while I may rage a bit over the name Cypher Raige, I still have some faith in M. Night. Hopefully he will come out swinging with After Earth. I am curious to see more sci-fi from him. Ever since Signs I've always thought Night should do another sci-fi film. Hasn't he always said he is a big fan of larger than life films like the Indiana Jones and Star Wars sagas? Perhaps this is M. Night moving into a new phase of filmmaking, from the smaller scale thrillers he's done up until more recently, to grander scale productions? Oh, and don't forget M. Night always brings the excellent James Newton Howard along for the ride to compose the scores to his films. JNH is underrated IMO.

  • A creative accountant could probably amortize the time you spend posting here into some hypothetical effect on your income (hopefully positive). There would be an opposite effect on my income if Google showed evidence of the massive amounts of time and energy I've spent discussing Superman's new costume, for instance.

  • I mean, you're Peter David. Your name carries weight. Half the guys in this thread are desperate to suck your balls, just because it seems like you're really Peter David. I think that's part of the reason you love coming here and posting under your real name. Peter David.

  • I even thought LADY IN THE WATER was pretty cool.

  • Boy, how that failed to pan out. It is not unfair to say that Night was both overhyped and overrated. Now, he is the joke of Hollywood. And he has nobody but himself to blame for believing his own hype. Fact is he's a serviceable director and a terrible writer. His dialogue is laughable at times. He has yet to make a comedy. At this point, it really does seem like 'I See Dead People' was just a fluke. It is his only really good film, imo. Unbreakable is decent but flawed. After that, well: Signs (2002) 24% 74% The Village (2004) 43% Lady in the Water (2006) 24% The Happening (2008) 18% The Last Airbender (2010) 6%

  • July 6, 2012, 10:57 a.m. CST

    prndlgirl?, LMMFAO!

    by SergeantStedenko

    You act like men talking incessantly about their genitals is a good thing?! Congratulations, women can be just as disgusting, revolting, obnoxious and immature as men. You've come a long way, baby!

  • July 6, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Peter David is petty

    by Mike Bunge

    "People have tried to get me fired from various jobs as revenge because they didn't like what I had to say. (Yes, they're just that petty.)" That's may or may not be petty, depending on what you said. What is petty is for Writer of Stuff Peter David to see a thread of people expressing two basic opinons... 1. I'm not enthusiastic about a new M. Night movie after Lady in the Water, The Happening and The Last Airbender. 2. Cypher Raige is a stupid name. and deciding that such perfectly reasonable and defensible views MUST NOT GO UNCHALLENGED!!!! Yes, how dare anyone suggest that the next M. Night movie might be something less than a transcendent masterpiece. How dare anyone complain about a character in a major motion picture being named the equivalent of Rock Hardman. Who do we think we are? We sure as hell aren't on the same level at the literary genius who helped make that Spider-Man crossover "The Other" such an outstanding critical achievement. Mike

  • July 6, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Girl: I think real men don't particularly give a damn. General note: Bunge is a troll who shows up wherever I go to make snide comments about my writing and me. Been doing it for years. How pathetic is that? PAD