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The Big Sci-Fi Movie Will Smith Regrets Making

Since his youth-filled days on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith has had a remarkable career. He's known for standout roles in films like Bad Boys, Independence Day, and Men in Black, and those are only just the start of the many successes he's had in the movie industry. Other than his role as James West in Wild, Wild West, he's had very few missteps in his career, depending on who you ask.

However, this changed in 2013 when he starred opposite his son Jaden Smith in the adventure sci-fi movie After Earth, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. This movie was supposed to be a success by all accounts, but it instead marked a low point in Smith's career and is now a film he truly regrets making.

At the box office in 2013, After Earth came in third place, trailing behind Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me. The Wall Street Journal deemed the film a "flop." The critical response wasn't any better; the movie's approval rating is 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and a measly 4.8 on IMDb. What's worse? Will Smith spoke to Esquire about his time on-set and admitted that After Earth is "the most painful failure" of his career. Let's find out why.

Why did Will Smith regret After Earth so much?

People may not know that Will Smith originally pitched After Earth to the studio, intending for it to blossom into a franchise. No, really. This movie was supposed to generate a sequel, a live-action TV series, and even theme park attractions. After harsh criticism of the film, those ideas were thrown out the window.

Why Smith really considers After Earth a "personal failure," though, is because he dragged his son along for the ride. Jaden ending up winning some dubious awards for his role, including "Worst Actor," "Worst Supporting Actor," and "Worst Screen Combo," which he shared with Will.

Smith also notes in the Esquire interview that the failure led him to a year-and-a-half hiatus to evaluate the situation. What he found out was that his need to be the best stemmed from early childhood trauma. The same week he was mentally processing the box office numbers, he received news his father had cancer, which made him realize that being the "best" isn't going to make him a better person. "Only love is going to fill that hole," he said. "You can't win enough, you can't have enough money, you can't succeed enough. There is not enough. The only thing that will ever satiate that existential thirst is love."

Want to check out After Earth for yourself? It's available to stream on IMDb TV right now.