Sony Moves Forward With Will And Jaden Smith-Starring, Shyamalan-Directed One Thousand A.E.

By Katey Rich 2011-04-04 13:37:04discussion comments
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Sony Moves Forward With Will And Jaden Smith-Starring, Shyamalan-Directed One Thousand A.E. image
Yes, last summer's The Last Airbender was a critical disaster and the winner of four Razzie Awards. But the massively expensive blockbuster managed to bring in $310 million worldwide, making it quite likely profitable and meaning M. Night Shyamalan lives to direct for another film. Last fall, with the memory of The Last Airbender not yet faded, Shyamalan added insult to injury by talking up his next project, a futuristic father-son story called One Thousand A.E. that would star Will Smith and Jaden Smith. Now, against all hope, that project is really happening.

A press release today from Sony has made it all official, announcing that Jaden will star in the film along with his dad, and that Shyamalan will direct the screenplay he wrote along with Gary Whitta; Shyamalan, the elder Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith will also produce, along with James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz, who team up with Smith at Overbrook Entertainment. The logline they're providing is pretty simple:
Set 1,000 years into the future, a young boy navigates an abandoned and sometimes scary Earth to save himself and his estranged father after their ship crashes.
Will Smith is currently making Men In Black III for Sony, but given that it's a particularly fractious set, I wonder if Sony is moving ahead with One Thousand A.E. as a favor to Smith, in order to keep him happy and in the studio fold even as Men In Black III seems to be making him unhappy. He's made the bulk of his most recent films for Sony and they'd right to want to keep him on board, and it's hard to imagine they'd otherwise be so enthusiastic to hand over another giant project to Shyamalan-- yes, Airbender probably wound up turning a profit, but it was a potential franchise for Paramount that very publicly crashed.

There's no word on when production on One Thousand A.E. might start, or how it could fit in along with the Karate Kid sequel that's reportedly still in the works.
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