When M. Night Shyamalan signed on to helm "After Earth," the new movie starring Will and Jaden Smith, the director had been working on a script that had already interested the likes of Bruce Willis, Bradley Cooper and Gwyneth Paltrow, even in its partially finished form.
The opportunity to work with the father/son duo meant shelving the project for some time, and when Shyamalan stopped by MTV News to talk with Josh Horowitz, he explained that his screenplays require an emotional connection to his life right at the moment he's working on them.
"The problem with me is that the screenplays are so about a moment. 'After Earth' ultimately became about a moment of having a teenage child," Shyamalan said. "It's about when you let your child become an adult, and you're scared. You can't protect them. That's where I am right now in my life. My kids are young teenagers, and I'm scared. So I make a movie about that."
The highly secretive director wouldn't divulge the story details of his current project — different from the pre-"After Earth" project he's taking an indefinite break from. But he described his idea as a "micro film" with "the catering budget" of "After Earth" and dished on its emotional hook.
"Now I'm writing a new movie for what I'm feeling right this second," he said. "It's actually about forgiveness and about [when] you've done something wrong to a family member, and you're waiting for that to be healed. That's at the center."
That clue about the next Shyamalan joint won't get you too far when guessing the story or what twist to expect. "When you see this movie, you will not think that," Shyamalan said. "You'll never think that when you see it."
Check out everything we've got on "After Earth," in theaters this Friday.