Following a teaser trailer that relied heavily on atmosphere and showed us little, we now have our first real glimpse of M. Night Shyamalan’s make or break sci-fi thriller After Earth – and it looks good. Sartorial highlight is undoubtedly the ‘life suit’, which costume designer Amy Westcott confirms is more than just a way to keep warm.
The story is set 1,000 years in the future. Humanity has been forced to abandon earth so we now live on ‘Nova Prime’. Will Smith’s military general, the magnificently named Cypher Raige returns from a tour of duty ready to reconnect with his family, especially Kitai (real life son Jaden Smith). But when the two get caught in an asteroid field and crash land on earth they are forced to get connected quicker than they envisaged in order to escape the planet where “everything has evolved to kill you”. Not sure if there will be a traditional Shyamalan twist somewhere, though there seems more than enough excitement going on without it.
This is costumer Amy Westcott’s first major feature since her BAFTA nominated and CDG winning work on Black Swan in 2010. Already it appears a departure from most of her back catalogue. From what we can see in the trailer, which thankfully is only flashes and not major chunks of plot, the costumes are mainly based around an organically fitted bodysuit worn in varying styles by Smith Sr. and Smith Jr.
Ms. Westcott describes the suit’s importance:
“Jaden Smith’s costume is called a ‘life suit’. Its capabilities are many, which include protection, as well as being a detector for aggressive motion.”
Oh yes, at one point Kitai base jumps off a cliff and his suit seemingly sprouts wings. Whatever this life suit actually does we can be sure it is essential to the plot in some way. Really cannot wait for this one.
After Earth is released on 7th June.
© 2013, Christopher Laverty.