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Preview: First trailer for Shyamalan's 'After Earth'

A full seven years after the release of the well-received family drama The Pursuit of Happiness (2006), Will and Jaden Smith have teamed up once again for next June's apocalyptic sci-fi After Earth (2013). Director M. Night Shyalaman's most recent efforts - which include the disastrous trio of Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008) and The Last Airbender (2010) - have been disappointing blights on an otherwise solid resume, to say the very least. After Earth will mark the the Indian-American's return to blockbuster filmmaking, and the inaugural teaser trailer which has crash landed online today is certainly cause for cautious optimism amongst the director's more avid fans.

After Earth takes place 1000 years after cataclysmic events have forced humanity to abandon the planet. General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) is returning to mankind’s new home 'Nova Prime' with his son Kitai (Jaden Smith) when an asteroid storm damages their craft, forcing them to crash-land on a dangerous, mutated Earth. With his father seriously injured, the eager Kitai must search the treacherous terrain for their craft’s rescue beacon.

A voiceover from Smith Sr. - in which he imparts important lessons to his son (in a southern accent no less) - is paired with many impressive looking sequences. The opening clip, in which Cypher is swept away in the wake of the crash immediately grabs your attention, and from there the visuals only get more intriguing; animals run wild in lush environments, and we also get an enticing glimpse of Jaden Smith's Kitai gliding away from a winged, eagle-like creature.

Judging by how little we see of the elder Smith in this trailer, it seems After Earth will be primarily a Jaden Smith vehicle. The young actor displayed impressive ability in The Karate Kid (2010), and it will be interesting to see whether or not he can make the next step up and hold audiences' attentions in the sci-fi genre. Joining the father-son duo are Isabelle Fuhrman, Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz, who was recently seen in X-Men: First Class (2011).

M. Night Shyalaman's After Earth will arrive in UK cinemas on 7 June, 2013.

Amon Warmann

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