It wasn’t enough for M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith to create a sci-fi film. For After Earth, they patterned an entirely new world history (or at least paid some really geeky people to do it for them).
The film is set 1,000 years in the future, and most of mankind has moved on to another planet light-years away. “Nova Prime has been colonized by humans for about 200 years,” said After Earth screenwriter Gary Whitta during a Comic-Con panel for the film, which is scheduled for release next year. “Earth is just kind of a memory that is taught in history classes.”
Nova Prime looks a lot like Utah (because it’s filmed in Utah), and that’s where the story starts. Smith plays Cypher Rage, a general in a military unit called the Rangers, while his real-life son Jaden plays his fictional son Kitai. The younger Rage aspires to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Rangers. When an errant asteroid damages their ship, it causes them to crash-land on the most inhospitable planet in the universe — Earth.
Separated during the crash, Kitai must battle his way across an aggressive and deadly planet to reach his injured father, who is in bad shape. The journey will take Kitai through jungle, desert, forest and probably a few Shyamalanesque plot twists.
Learn more details: Wired – Universe-Building With Your After Earth Hosts, Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan