Putting down pen and paper following the critical mis-firings of his most recent work (The Lady In The Water, The Happening), M. Night Shyamalan looks to put his recent past behind him with what is shaping up to be one of 2013's most-anticipated; full of the kind of intrigue we expect from the director, with a visual spectacle befitting of its Summer 2013 blockbuster-season release date.
A science-fiction thriller, the trailer lays down the premise in terrific fashion. Set 1000 years after 'cataclysmic events' forced humanity to escape from Earth to a new home in outer-space ('Nova Prime'), it sees real-life and fictional father-and-son duo Will Smith and Jaden Smith (as General Cypher Raige and 13-year old son, Kitai respectively) crash-land on the remains of a planet unfamiliar and dangerous in the extreme. Looking non-too-dissimilar to Avatar's alien planet of Pandora, it's Earth only not as you now know it. It's a planet whose very nature has turned against our entire species, hostile and unwelcoming, and “evolved to kill humans”.
With tip-offs suggesting Will Smith's character dies early on in the piece (not surprising, his fleeting presence alone will be sufficient to create some much-needed early buzz), it'll be interesting to see whether Jaden Smith can carry a film of this weight by himself – The Karate Kid was an early test, and an unconvincing one at best. Similarly, Shyamalan has to prove himself as more than a one-or-two trick pony, with After Earth arguably his biggest test yet – the VFX on offer indicate a budget far in excess of his most accomplished work. Whether we'll see him conjure another twist from the premise is anyone's guess. Place your bets...
After Earth is due out on June 7, 2013. Watch the trailer below.