Can Will Smith and son get M. Night Shyamalan back on track?

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has had a rough few years lately, with his three most recent films getting scathing reviews and struggling at the box office. Yet that's not stopping one of the world's biggest movie stars from working with him.

According to Deadline, Shyamalan will direct an "untitled futuristic science fiction adventure film" that will star Will Smith (I Am Legend). Smith's son Jaden will star in the picture alongside his dad, and just to make it a complete family venture, Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith is listed as one of the producers, along with her husband.

Shyamalan has co-written the script for the movie (with Book of Eli writer Gary Whitta), which was reportedly titled One Thousand A.E. when he first began talking about it late last year. The tale, set in the far future, involves a young boy and his father whose spaceship crashes on Earth 1,000 years after it has been abandoned. Shyamalan said in a newly released statement, "The chance to make a scary, science-fiction film starring Jaden and Will is my dream project."

Will and Jaden Smith have acted together before, in The Pursuit of Happyness, while Jaden also appeared in the ill-conceived remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. His dad, of course, has starred in sci-fi blockbusters like Independence Day, I, Robot and Men in Black (the third MiB entry is now filming again after script problems shut production down for a couple of months).

As for Shyamalan, his last two original films, Lady in the Water and The Happening, were both critical and box-office disasters. His adaptation of The Last Airbender did reasonably well at the box office but was panned almost across the board by critics, moviegoers and fans of the TV series.

There's no word yet on when production will begin. Do you think this is a good team-up? Does Shyamalan deserve yet another chance, and can working with Smith bring out the best in him?