Will Smith Thought ‘After Earth’ Would Be Such a Big Hit He Planned to Make ‘After Earth’ Cologne
Take a knee, Will Smith.
The great star of screen and bigger screen has had some odd-duck failures lately; his career is of the last ten years has been littered with so much collateral beauty. One of Smith’s more notable failures before moving on to Brighter horizons at Netflix was a little sci-fi film titled After Earth, which cost a reported $130 million and grossed just $60.5 million in the United States.
That pretty much killed any thoughts of an After Earth sequel dead, but in a new excerpt from the upcoming book The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz (via The Hollywood Reporter) we learn that Smith’s original plans for the film were much greater than that. Smith and his team at Overbrook Entertainment intended After Earth as the cornerstone of a “transmedia universe,” which they sketched out “in a 294-page ‘bible.’”
Get a load of all the After Earth stuff we could have had!
Overbrook's not-too-modest pitch document detailed plans for not only the movie and its sequel but also a television show, an animated series, webisodes, a video game, consumer products, theme park attractions, comic books, an ‘in-school education program in partnership with NASA’ and ‘cologne, perfume, toiletries, etc.’ Fans would become so engaged, the pitch document advised, ‘it is also essential to create a stand-alone AE-branded Social Network.’
I get it; who wouldn’t want to smell like Will Smith in After Earth, the movie where he slowly bleeds out while stranded in a spaceship on an inhospitable alien planet? I cannot imagine a more enticing aroma.
Frankly, After Earth may have been a case of putting the cart before the horse. You can have a 300 page bible full of ideas for and rides and toys and delectable scents, but if your movie barely even features Will Smith and instead follows an uncharismatic Jaden Smith wandering around a spooky planet, all the transmedia plans in the universe aren’t going to help you.