“I had coached him into the worst public mauling”: Will Smith Claimed Son Jaden Felt Betrayed by Him for Trusting Oscar Winner After Karate Kid Fame With Jackie Chan

Will Smith revealed that his son Jaden Smith was left feeling “betrayed” after the father-son duo starred in the infamous box office bomb After Earth in 2013. Smith claims he had coached Jaden Smith into the biggest failure of his early career, causing a rift after Jaden’s breakout with The Karate Kid.

The high-profile flop embarrassed the young Jaden Smith and severely damaged the trust he had in his superstar father’s guidance and judgment. According to Will, 15-year-old Jaden Smith went from the heights of his first major hit with The Karate Kid to the ignominy of After Earth, which earned a humiliating 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and lost millions. The 54-year-old actor accepts blame for the “debacle” of the film, which drove a wedge between them that took years to recover from.

Read more: “I needed to be home”: Unlike Brad Pitt and Will Smith, Nicolas Cage Turned Down $1.7B Franchise for an Emotional Reason That Went to Keanu Reeves

Jaden Smith Had Just Found Success With The Karate Kid

Before taking on After Earth, a 15-year-old Jaden Smith had just come off his first major acting success with the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid. He received praise for capably leading the film alongside Jackie Chan, establishing himself as an up-and-coming talent after earlier child roles.

The Karate-KidThe Karate-Kid
For Jaden Smith, the film’s failure marked a painful setback following the heights of The Karate Kid.
His father accepts the blame for the “debacle” of a film, which ended up driving a wedge between the two. “It took years for Jaden to trust my leadership again,” the 54-year-old confessed.

Read more: “I told Chris that I wasn’t a very good director”: Steven Spielberg Tricked Another Actor Into Quitting Will Smith’s Role In Men in Black

Jaden Smith Felt He Had Been Sabotaged By His Own Father

For Jaden Smith, the embarrassment of After Earth’s failure was worsened by the fact his own father had ushered him into the doomed project. He felt Will Smith’s poor judgment had directly led to the scornful reactions.
After EarthAfter Earth

“At 15 years old, Jaden Smith had had the number one movie and then made the number one box office flop of my career,” Will Smith explained. “It was as if I had purposefully and with full knowledge driven him into the most humiliating failure of his public life.”

Read more: “How good you would be?”: Jackie Chan Was Proven Wrong After He Doubted Jaden Smith Because Of His $350 Million Rich Father Will Smith

After Earth taught the older Smith a difficult lesson about trying to manufacture movie stardom for his son. He admits pushing Jaden Smith too fast into a high-profile flop that derailed his career and betrayed the trust he had in his famous father’s guidance. The strain between them took years to fully recover from.

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