Further news today, from THR and others, on the story which rose its head way back in October and which placed Jaden Smith in front of M. Night Shyamalan’s camera for a sci-fi epic called One Thousand AE (note: AE was never explained, best guess was After Earth) with Dad Will Smith donning his producer’s trousers for the project.

Now it appears that the (now) untitled project, co-written by The Book of Eli’s Gary Whitta along with Shyamalan, will benefit from a leading role for Smith Snr.  Having the Power of the Smiths behind this film should blot out the critical spotlight held firmly in Shyamalan’s face after the woeful Airbender malarky. Should.

Here’s how Deadline describe it:

The story takes place far in the future where a young boy has to navigate an abandoned planet on a space ship that has crashed. On board is his estranged father.

So future-set family reunion shennigans set against a strange alien landscape? Could this be the Shyamalan-directed Lost in Space redux we’ve been clamouring for? The Pursuit of Happyness is the first logical touchstone for this proposal, and I am more than happy to admit that Jaden Smith did good things with The Karate Kid film last year, so the mood is cautiously hopeful if not exactly buoyant.

James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith and Ken Stovitz are producing and while I like the idea of Whitta getting another huge gig I’d like to see him get his nicely esoteric adaptation of the 8-bit text adventure wonder A Mind Forever Voyaging off the ground*.

I’m not a Shyamalan apologist by any stretch but I’m keen to see his fancy tethered by The Smiths (not the band, although I would love to see that too), and with The Night Chronicles up and running perhaps we’ll see a more focused and less egotisical outing for Shyamalan. Perhaps.

* This will never happen, but Whitta has graciously put a draft of the script on his website. Bag it here.