In promotion of M. Night Shyamalan’s next sci-fi blockbuster, After Earth, Sony have announced a big-scale mutli-platform project that will take shape in the coming months to generate early buzz ahead of the film’s release next summer.
“After Earth is set 1000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.”
Co-writer Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) will be leading a panel on the film at Comic-Con this weekend, with a giveaway for those attending to kick off the campaign/buzz, and Deadline report that Sony have big plans in the coming months to follow that up.
Ahead of next summer’s release, they’ll be partnering with Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, The Random House Publishing Group and Ebury Publishing.
The project, spanning across multiple platforms, will feature two novels – a prequel and an official novelisation of the film – as well as a series of digital shorts and a single-issue comic.
Random House will publish the comic, After Earth: Innocence, this October, and it will be a prequel introducing the father-and-son characters that they play, Cypher and Kitai Raige. A special edition version of the comic, with an alternative cover, will be released at Comic-Con – so count yourself lucky if you’re attending the convention, and here’s to hoping it will appear online before long in digital form.
“Each [digital] short will be available on all major e-reading platforms. The novels, comic and digital shorts will be penned by writers including bestselling authors Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, and Robert Greenberger.”
After Earth is due out on 7th June, 2013, and with Sony clearly demonstrating their intents to make this a massive blockbuster, we can expect a huge ad campaign to kick off before long ahead of its release next summer. Few stars have the kind of calibre that Will Smith has, and when he’s back in front of cameras, the studio wants to make sure everyone knows it.