After Earth is "Jurassic Park meets King Kong" - SciFiNow

After Earth is “Jurassic Park meets King Kong”

After Earth screenwriter reveals more about Will Smith and Jaden Smith’s apocalyptic movie

After Earth stars real life father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith as Cypher and Kitai Raige, who crash-land on Earth to find the planet has grown completely hostile. The plants are carnivorous, the water is poisonous and the animals will eat you up.

“Every single thing on this planet will kill you, so Jaden [Smith] has a pretty interesting journey in this movie just trying to stay alive,” says After Earth screenwriter Gary Whitta. “If you took Jurassic Park and then dumped King Kong into the middle of it, that’s kind of what you have in this environment.”

Jaden Smith as Kitai Raige in After Earth
Jaden Smith as Kitai Raige in After Earth

This apocalyptic sci-fi flick was the brainchild of Will Smith and his brother-in-law Caleeb Pinkett, who were watching one of those ‘I shouldn’t be alive’ reality shows. “When they first cooked this idea for the movie up it wasn’t a sci-fi movie at all,” he adds. “Will wanted it to be a very simple movie about a father and a son who crashed their car in a remote region, and the son had to go get rescue for the father.

“The movie has to work on a human emotional level first, you cannot rely on the trappings of the science fiction premise or the concept gimmick; it has to stand on its own. They had that, and it was only subsequently that Will decided to set it 1,000 years in the future, so the budget went up a little bit, but it remained a story about a father and a son.”

After Earth has a green message at its heart, rather than a case of little green men like most apocalyptic movies out this year. It seems that the Earth got fed up of the litter and global warming and booted us off the face of the planet. More WALL-E (WILL-E?) than The World’s End, then.

After Earth is out 7 June 2013.