Will Smith Tried To Make His Own Star Wars Trilogy

By Jason Collins | Published

Will Smith

Before it became known as a flop among the critics, Will Smith’s After Earth was initially supposed to be a trilogy that would challenge the likes of Star Wars and Harry Potter. However, according to Yahoo Entertainment, the movie couldn’t marshal its talent into something more, thus becoming one of the well-known critical and commercial disappointments.

Will Smith Wanted After Earth To Be The Next Big Sci-Fi Franchise

Many sci-fi movies—or just movies in general—that were deemed commercial and critical flops at the time of their release found their cult following in the following decades. 1999’s Fight Club is a perfect example of this. However, the times haven’t been kind to Will Smith’s After Earth, which managed to garner a small and faithful following in an ocean of criticism. It’s actually hard to imagine that Will Smith and its production company, Overbrook Entertainment, tried to conceive a trilogy that would grow into a multimedia franchise.

Sequels And Much More Planned

Will Smith initially conceptualized the movie as a son-father survival adventure before the whole thing turned into sci-fi and grew to proportions that could be measured against the MCU or Star Wars. The pitch documents that Overbrook sent to Sony dubbed the After Earth cinematic universe “1000 AE” and openly compared its scale to the aforementioned franchises. The initial plans included an After Earth sequel, a live-action TV series, an animated TV series, webisodes, documentaries, comics, and all sorts of educational content and merch. Unfortunately, the recipe just didn’t work.

Will And Jaden Smith Star In After Earth

For those who haven’t watched 2013’s After Earth, the post-apocalyptic action movie stars Will and Jaden Smith in a narrative that basically teaches the viewers that, while the danger of death might be real, fear is always a choice. And while that is a good and sound lesson, the delivery was off. Namely, the in-narrative father and son, portrayed by real-life father and son, crash land on a long-abandoned Earth, on which every living organism evolved to hunt and kill humans since humans departed the planet due to an environmental catastrophe.

Where The Movie Thrived

While Will Smith’s character remains injured on one side of the planet, Jaden’s character has to traverse and survive the dangerous environment hell-bent on claiming his life while also being hunted by an alien monster that hunts by smelling fear. At the same time, the movie did have some strong points, like the well-realized and visually compelling depiction of a future Earth devoid of humans and rather positive character development, especially in contrast to some other sci-fi releases.

Will We Ever See A Sequel?

Unfortunately, the audience is the one that judges a film, and while it may take a decade or more for a film to gain its rightful recognition, it seems that Will Smith’s After Earth won’t be one of those movies. After Earth opened small and stayed that way. Nonetheless, the movie holds some value; while it did flop, it remains a reminder of the past times when nearly anyone in the movie industry tried to jumpstart a massive franchise or a cinematic universe, regardless of whether audiences had a taste for what the creators were trying to sell.