NEW YORK, NY (July, 13 2012) - Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, The Random House Publishing Group and Ebury Publishing announced today a collaboration to create a broad line of publishing products set to expand the universe of After Earth, the highly-anticipated action adventure film starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith. After Earth is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The screenplay is by Gary Whitta and M. Night Shyamalan, from a story by Will Smith. The producers are Caleeb Pinkett, Will Smith, James Lassiter, and M. Night Shyamalan.
The program will encompass two novels and multiple digital shorts, along with a single-issue comic, After Earth: Innocence, published by the Random House Publishing Group in partnership with Dynamite Entertainment. Set to debut in October 2012, this official prequel comic introduces Cypher and Kitai Raige (played by Will and Jaden Smith in the After Earth film), and helps establish the world by covering such incidents as mankind's exodus from Earth and arrival on Nova Prime, as well as the first contact with a deadly alien species. Artwork is being provided by Beni R. Lobel (G.I. Joe: Cobra, G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes). An exclusive edition of the comic with an alternate cover by artist Jae Lee will be released at San Diego Comic-Con in July.
Leading up to the film's release in Summer 2013 will be a prequel novel and an official novelization, as well as a series of digital shorts telling stories set in the world of After Earth. Each short will be available on all major e-reading platforms. Details on the content and specific publication dates will be revealed in the coming months, with plans for simultaneous release in the US and the UK.
The novels, comic and digital shorts will be penned by stellar writers including bestselling authors Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, and Robert Greenberger. All three authors are vastly familiar with the world of After Earth, having worked directly with Overbrook Entertainment on various aspects of the After Earth franchise universe.
"We're excited about this great opportunity to work not only with the team at Dynamite and our counterparts at Ebury, but also directly with the creative team at Overbrook," said Keith Clayton, associate publisher of Del Rey Books. "It's important to us that the stories we're helping to shape are in line with the team's larger vision for the world of After Earth. The level of collaboration has been exceptional."
"We believe this is a unique opportunity to bring a franchise to life across different platforms over a period of time, which our partners at Random House have wholeheartedly embraced," said Gaetano Mastropasqua, Head of Franchise Development at Overbrook Entertainment. "We have created over 1000 years of mythology and family heritage that contribute to the foundation of this new world. Through these platforms both our core fan-base, and those just being introduced to the franchise, are able to explore the After Earth universe in depth. Random House is uniquely positioned to help us bring this to life using both their publishing and digital platforms."
"We are really looking forward to launching the After Earth publishing program with Random House," said Gregory Economos, Senior VP of Global Consumer Products at Sony Pictures Entertainment. "We recognize the expertise they bring to the science fiction genre in particular, and believe they will be a very valuable partner in supporting this franchise."
"We are very excited to be continuing our working relationship with Random House with After Earth," states Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. "After Earth will surely be a hit film, and we can't wait for San Diego Comic Con, where diehard fans will be attending and the media attention and awareness will help build even more excitement for the comic and movie."
"Ebury is thrilled to be part of the After Earth publishing program," said Michael Rowley, Editorial Director, SF and Fantasy at Ebury Publishing. "The books will form a key part of Ebury's new SF and Fantasy list and I look forward to being part of the global excitement around the launch of After Earth."
About After Earth:
One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by 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 (played by 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.
About Overbrook Entertainment:
Overbrook Entertainment, founded by partners James Lassiter and Will Smith, is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment focused in film and television and has produced a diverse slate of both critically acclaimed and blockbuster feature films, which have generated more than $2.5 billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts and even more in home video sales. Some of Overbrook's most successful films include ALI, HITCH, PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, SECRET LIVES OF BEES, and most recently THE KARATE KID. Overbrook's next feature project is AFTER EARTH, which is set for a June 2013 release.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment:
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 159 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/
About the Random House Publishing Group
The flagship imprint of Random House, Inc., the Random House Publishing Group had its origins in 1925 when Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, two New Yorkers in their mid-twenties, acquired a line of classics and contemporary American works called The Modern Library from publisher Horace Liveright. The company assumed the name Random House two years later, in 1927, when Cerf and Klopfer decided to publish a few books on the side, "at random." Their artist friend Rockwell Kent drew his now celebrated logo of a random house, which made its debut in February 1927. Among the first titles of the new imprint were limited editions illustrated by Kent of Voltaire's Candide and Melville's Moby Dick.
Del Rey Books (http://www.delreybooks.com/) was founded in 1977 as an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group, under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history.
About Random House UK
The Random House Group is an independently managed subsidiary of Random House, Inc. and one of the largest general book publishing companies in the UK. Ebury Publishing (www.eburypublishing.co.uk) is responsible for a ground-breaking list of bestselling, award-winning books, including memoir and popular history, commercial and romance fiction, cookery and humour books, travel-writing, sport, music and reference. Ebury recently announced plans to develop a new SF and Fantasy list.
Random House/Media Relations