For a while there it felt like we were getting regular doses of information about M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming sci-fi feature After Earth. Lately, however, that stream has run a little dry. You can bet this is something akin to the calm before the marketing storm. The Will/Jaden Smith vehicle is, after all, scheduled to be unleashed upon the world on June 7th, which, in movie terms, isn’t too far off.
IGN has a brand-spankin’ new synopsis for the adventure that shares a few new details about the story:
A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.
I can’t get over the fact that the name of Will Smith’s character is Cypher Raige. That’s priceless.
The most interesting reveal in this summary is the mention of the escaped alien creature. We already knew about the terrestrial creatures that have evolved in the absence of a human population, but the alien threat is new. It also poses some questions about Cypher, Kitai, and the nature of their journey.
If the alien escapes in the crash, that must mean that they were transporting it, right? This creates a few possibilities for us to speculate about. Why did they have this creature on their ship? One option is that they’re some sort of father-son scientific research team, and this is a specimen carefully captured and secured for a future examination. That seems feasible.
However, with a name like Cypher Raige, not to mention all of the talk of training and the advice about banishing fear he bestows upon Kitai, my money is on familial mercenaries. They could also be some kind of space prison transport, transferring this unstoppable killing machine from one place to another. There does appear to be a military or police edge to their training and technology, which slants things in that direction.
All of this is pure speculation on my part, but given the particulars in this new description, those are the avenues my mind travels down.
Here’s the trailer for After Earth, in case you missed it, or if you simply want to peruse it again.