M. Night Shyamalan Compares After Earth To Jurassic Park And Tree Of Life
With Will Smith back on top of the box office thanks to Men In Black 3, reminding everyone what a refreshing screen presence he can be, we should probably all be paying a little more attention to his next film After Earth, in which he co-stars opposite his son Jaden. And the reunion of the Smith men-- they co-starred in The Pursuit of Happyness, you may remember-- isn't even the most intriguing part of this sci-fi project. It's also the next film from M. Night Shyamalan, who turned a Best Director nomination for The Sixth Sense into an increasingly baffling and critically maligned career, ending with 2010's The Last Airbender, a critical disaster that nonetheless made $319 million worldwide.
That kind of cash has allowed Shyamalan another big budget for After Earth, which stars both the elder and younger Smith as a father and son who crash land on an alien planet somewhere in the distant future. At some point it becomes a coming-of-age saga, with Jaden forced to step up to the plate and rescue his father-- and from the way Shyamalan has been describing the film in fairly detailed updates on his Twitter feed, it's much more Jaden's film than Will's. Describing how many set-ups he shoots a day, Shyamalan said it was " pretty much 10 shots. 8 with Jaden, 2 without." He also got into detail about the process of sending out shots for CGI completion, even while he was still in the process of editing. Here are a couple of tweets, put into proper order, explaining how strange that must be:
And while the director probably has absolutely no control over the marketing, he came up with a pretty nifty tagline for After Earth that at least has me more interested:
No matter what you think of his recent output of films, Shyamalan is a really lovely and gracious presence on Twitter, interacting frequently with his fans, bringing up aspects of filmmaking you'd never even think about being frustrating, and even having a little mini-conversation with Darren Aronofsky, who you can imagine he met back when they were both the promising up-and-comers in the late 90s. I've definitely added Shyamalan to my Twitter feed thanks to this, and here's hoping all this enthusiasm here translates to a solid final product when After Earth opens in theaters next year.
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