The actor’s book details his experience co-starring with his then-15-year-old son Jaden Smith on his film “After Earth.” Jaden had also starred in the remake of “Karate Kid” in 2010, which was a success, as well as “The Pursuit of Happyness” in 2006.
The actor sought the film as a vehicle for himself and Jaden, and when the 2013 film didn’t do well at the box office, the 53-year-old blamed himself when his son was pummeled by critics and the press.
The budget for “After Earth” was $130 million, and the film only earned $27 million during its opening weekend. The “I Am Legend” star described the critiques of fans and the press as “vicious” and a “public mauling” of his son.
“After Earth was an abysmal box office and critical failure,” Smith wrote. “And what was worse was that Jaden took the hit. Fans and the press were absolutely vicious; they said and printed things about Jaden that I refuse to repeat. Jaden had faithfully done everything that I’d instructed him to do, and I had coached him into the worst public mauling he’d ever experienced.”
The worried father was especially heartbroken to learn that his younger son wanted to be emancipated at 15. The author noted that Jaden felt betrayed and had lost trust in his dad. Smith wrote about the pain of hurting his son.
“We never discussed it, but I know he felt betrayed. He felt misled, and he lost his trust in my leadership,” wrote Smith. “At fifteen years old, when Jaden asked about being an emancipated minor, my heart shattered. He ultimately decided against it, but it sucks to feel like you’ve hurt your kids.”
In addition to 23-year-old Jaden, the author has 29-year-old Trey Smith and 21-year–old Willow Smith.
The “King Richard” star also reveals his troubled childhood relationship with his father in his autobiography, as well as details surrounding his marriage and divorce to Sheree Zampino, Trey’s mom.
“You’re going to learn things about me that you never knew….Ugh, a whole lot of stuff,” Smith teases in the trailer.
The new author also reveals that he’s made mistakes and notes that he was honest in a video he posted on Twitter promoting the new book on Nov. 4.
“This is the story of my life. Available Nov. 9, link in bio. #willthebook – Will Smith.”
Smith’s memoir “Will” will be available on Nov. 9.