Hey Will, Jaden, you guys have something on your shirts. Oh wait, that’s just a new international poster for your upcoming sci-fi adventure, After Earth. Sorry about the misunderstanding.
Admittedly, this is a pretty cool poster. We’ve seen the image of the silhouette standing on a wrecked spaceship before, but this time the marketing department over at Sony decided to use father-son stars Will and Jaden Smith like a drive-in movie screen.
Looking at this one-sheet you have to wonder, has the name M. Night Shyamalan—the director—become promotional poison? There’s been a great deal of critical and public backlash against pretty much every movie he’s made since The Sixth Sense, and his penchant for forced twist endings has become fodder for every sketch comedy troupe and Internet meme under the sun. And he is almost nowhere to be found on this poster. His name is in the very bottom right corner, in minuscule print, and there’s no “from the director of…” or anything like that.
Granted, the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is one of the most massive movie stars in the world, and carries more than enough clout to pump a film. Still, Shyamalan is a recognizable figure, and can a movie really have too much hype? It appears that the studio may be trying to downplay his involvement. Is it because this is an international poster?
After Earth is the story of Kitai (Jaden) and Cypher Raige (Will). A thousand years after humanity has abandoned its home planet, they crash land on the surface. With his father seriously wounded, Kitai must set out on a journey across the hazard-ridden landscape, confronting animals and plants that have evolved to kill humans. Oh, and they have to deal with a vicious alien killing machine that escaped in the crash. So there’s that. The two will have to work together and conquer their fears if they have a hope of making it out alive.
After Earth costars Zoe Kravitz, Sophie Okonedo, and Isabelle Fuhrman, and opens June 7, 2013.