Jaden Smith Spills on Being a Survivor at the ‘After Earth’ Premiere

 Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Photo

The After Earth premiere Wednesday night turned out to be a real family affair, with Smiths and Pinketts dominating the appropriately-colored green carpet.

With such a strong family dynamic present in this film (real life father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith star), it’s no surprise that, despite being an action-packed sci-fi flick, the real focus of the story is on the father-son relationship. “The father-son relationship was always the most important thing,” writer Gary Whitta told Hollywood.com at the After Earth premiere. “Even though we’re telling the movie on a huge science fiction canvas … I call it Smith Family Robinson.” 

In fact, After Earth wasn’t originally conceived as a sci-fi film at all. When Will Smith first came up with the idea for the movie it was set in the present-day Alaskan wilderness and told the story of a military father and son who drive off the rode during a fishing trip. The father gets injured in the crash and the son has to go for help. But then, one night, Smith had a revelation.

“He had a dream one day, woke up, and said, ‘It’s a thousand years in the future,'” Whitta said.

So, thanks to Will’s subconscious, he and Jaden were forced to fight back against vicious, highly evolved creatures instead of bears or a pack of wolves. Then again, there’s still that other wolf pack they have to deal with. But something tells me this father-son duo can handle just about anything.

There is still, of course, the question of what exactly Jaden’s character will have to survive in the film. Director M. Night Shyamalan is notorious for throwing huge twists in at the end of his movies, so you can bet there will be one in After Earth. Even Jaden couldn’t say much without giving something away.

“Is my character tough at surviving?” Jaden said. “At the beginning, sort of, you’ve got to watch the movie. There’s multiple different answers for that.”

So grab your family members, head to the theater, and settle in for a Swiss family — I mean, Smith family — adventure.

After Earth opens nationwide May 31. 

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