James Newton Howard Reteams With M. Night Shyamalan To Score 'After Earth'

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by Joe Cunningham
July 12, 2012 10:39 AM
12 Comments
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There’s an argument – and it’s an argument that this writer subscribes to – that ever since “The Sixth Sense” each of M. Night Shyamalan’s films has been worse than the one that preceded it. “The Sixth Sense” > “Unbreakable” > “Signs” > “The Village” > “Lady in the Water” > “The Happening” > “The Last Airbender.” You may have a few minor quibbles with that order, but it’s hard to disagree that, broadly, the quality of Shyamalan’s movies have followed a distinctly downward trajectory. So that being said, hands up if you’re excited for “After Earth”!

Okay, so we can’t see this being anywhere near as bad as "The Last Airbender" – there are very few films that will ever be made that are anywhere near as bad as "The Last Airbender" – but even with the presence of Will Smith, we’re not expecting much. The film will see a father and son (Will and Jaden Smith) crash-land on Earth 1000 years after mankind has abandoned the planet. The father (named Cypher Raige, *sigh*) is left badly injured after the crash, and the son (Kitai Raige, *double sigh*) must travel across hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon.

The film is due in theaters on June 7, 2013, and Shyamalan has finally decided on the man to score his latest…and it must have been a difficult choice. James Newton Howard has scored the director’s previous seven features, and we imagine that it was simply down to scheduling as to whether he would be scoring this one as well. NEWS FLASH: HE IS! Howard has scored “The Hunger Games,” “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “The Bourne Legacy” this year, and it looks like "After Earth" will be his next project. So now only one question remains…will there be room alongside Howard’s music for another Jaden and Justin Bieber chart-topping tune? We damn well hope so! [Film Music Reporter]

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12 Comments

  • right | July 14, 2012 1:05 AMReply

    Yo Joe, r u a friggin stupid? Shyamalan is a money making machine for the studios and you are putting him down? Do you live in a basement or do you have any money in the bank? The guy is international fame. U r no match to him. Keep your shitty critique to yourself.

  • Gilles | July 13, 2012 2:45 PMReply

    And ooh yeah! My hand is up too.

  • DEREKONEILL | July 13, 2012 6:40 AMReply

    Well Joe my hand is up!

  • Joe | July 12, 2012 5:04 PMReply

    Have you not read articles on this site before? Are you not familiar with its tone?

    This article at no point calls Shyamalan terrible, just that the films he's making now aren't as good as the ones he was making a decade ago. I rate all of his films to some extent right up to The Village,but not so much after. This isn't a review of his old films though, it's just there as context to write a news piece around. Neither is it a promotion of his film, again, it's a news piece.

    Maybe the opinion in this piece mirrors other widely articulated views - but they also happen to be my personal view. Would you prefer I changed my opinion on a director's films just to be different? I'm really not sure why the words 'hatred' and 'terrible' are popping up, all that's expressed in the piece is the lack of excitement for the film of a director whose last few have been weak. I often look at movies on an 'academic' level...but again, in reviews, not in news pieces. You need to understand what you're reading here, don't come to a short news piece expecting detailed analysis of something that the article's not really about.

    And yes, it's sarcasm. This is The Playlist, not Variety.

  • derekoneill | July 12, 2012 4:52 PMReply

    Shyamalan has still got good movies in him. Unbreakable was just amazing great superhero origins story. Signs was a great movie lots of tension with a great issue of faith and belief. The village was miss sold as a horror when at the heart of the movie its really a love story. Lady in the water was good if only a little muddled but a great central performance by paul giamatti. Shyamalan was once hailed the next spielberg he has made mistakes but hes a born filmmaker

  • Edward | July 12, 2012 12:03 PMReply

    Boring! Another tedious article about how terrible a director M. Night Shyamalan is, disguised as a "real story." Yeah, we get it. You hate the guy because he couldn't reach the same insane level of critical and commercial success of his third feature. Now let's forget about actually approaching each film for what it is (and looking at it as a work of cinema in its own right) and continue to turn the process of filmmaking into a game of one-upmanship. Maybe if you're not interested in his upcoming movie you should stop promoting it. Or at least have the decency to not steal photos and updates from his Twitter feed and pass them off as your own work. Seriously, don't be a hack! Anyway, I'm done with these amateur blogs. They all parrot off the same opinions; it's as if they're the work of a single person. How about developing your own taste and opinions and learning how to look at movies at an academic level? Otherwise you're just polluting the blogosphere with your second-hand snark - though I suppose that's what gets you those all important blog-hits.

  • gilles | July 13, 2012 2:44 PM

    Totally have to agree with Edward here. Well said.

  • Anonymous | July 12, 2012 5:38 PM

    Edward's awesome.

  • Rohan | July 12, 2012 12:13 PM

    Well said, Edward. You basically took the words out of my mouth.

  • Mr Fist | July 12, 2012 12:03 PMReply

    All this *ahem* hatred of M. has been redundant since the release of The Happening (give or take) and I'm really tired of it.

    On the plus side though, if this film doesn't work, at least Manoj won't be ENTIRELY to blame due to not being the writer...

  • JT | July 12, 2012 11:55 AMReply

    For me, Signs (aside from the much maligned, aliens with one weakness seeking out a planet made of that weakness thing) had a lot of strong points, lady in the water less so, same with the Village, but The Happening was so fucking terrible. The audience I saw it with was cracking up the whole time and it still has the best example of "did an Alien who's never actually spoken English write this script" moments, when John Leguizamo frantically says the train is "going to make a stop in the town of Princeton, New Jersey...."

  • Rohan | July 12, 2012 11:20 AMReply

    This news is a bit obsolete, but it's fine to publish even it is late. And, I have to disagree with your statement placed in the second line of your first paragraph, Joe, in which you are saying that after 'The Sixth Sense' every film of Shyamalan has been worse. 'The Last Airbender' and 'The Happening' does stand at Shyamalan's weak side, yet you cannot state without articulating that rest of his work is the 'worst.' You have the right to hate or like anything in the world, Joe, as we are all entitled to our opinions, but it would be nice if you take the time to write something about 'Unbreakable' or 'The Village' Or 'Signs.'

    We all, in a way knew that James Newton Howard was going to score, but we were waiting for Shyamalan or Howard to confirm it. I don't know what makes you think this as you state in the second paragraph: 'It must have been a difficult choice." - Is it sarcasm?

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