Will Smith is reminiscing on the moment his son Jaden Smith, now known as Jaden, asked for legal separation from his parents after the failed collaborative movie.
Jaden and Will starred together in the 2013 postapocalyptic action film. This was Jaden's first major acting role, at just 15 years of age. Jaden's mom Jada Pinkett Smith also produced the film.
The movie, which was directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, was ultimately deemed ineligible. It was reported to have made $60 million in the United States on a $130million budget, scoring a low 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and had a total of $60 million.
Jaden's part was just as bad as the movie itself. Will described the movie as the "most painful failure" in his career in an interview with Esquire, 2015.
In his memoir, which will be available this week, Will recalls the film's "abysmal failure" and how it affected his and Jaden’s relationship.
"It was an awfully poor box office and a critical failure," he wrote in an excerpt that People obtained. Jaden was the one who took the hit.
He continues, "Fans and journalists were absolutely vicious; I refused to repeat anything they said or printed about Jaden." "Jaden had done all that I instructed him to, and I had coached his into the worst public mauling of his life."
Will claims that Jaden was so affected by the harsh criticism that he asked to be legally divorced from his parents.
Will wrote that Jaden, at 15 years old, asked me about becoming an emancipated minority. My heart was broken. "He eventually decided against it, but it hurts to feel like your children have been hurt."
An emancipated child is someone legally considered a minor, but is not under the control of their guardians or parents. They are allowed to make their own living arrangements and manage their income. According to the Independent, Jaden would have been able to negotiate his own salary and make future work-related decisions without Will.
Will continues to discuss Jaden's lack of trust in him after the torrent of negative reviews and overall failure of the film.
Will wrote, "We never discussed this, but I know that he felt betrayed." "He felt misled and lost trust in me as his leader."
After previously calling the incident a joke back in 2013, when Jaden's emancipation was brought up publicly, Will appears to have now spoken out about the matter for the first time.
In 2013, Will mentioned emancipation for the first time in an interview. Will first mentioned emancipation in an interview in 2013. If kids want to take control of their lives, then I can understand.
However, Will and Jaden closed the matter down just days later. They described the possible emancipation reference as a joke during a joint appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show.
"See? Here's the deal. Jaden stated that he was not going anywhere.
"Everything at this house is completely free, which is something people often don't realize. I can get everything and anything at his house so I will be there for 20, 30, or more years. Will said that if I have a bigger movie than one of his movies, I will be able to get my own home." he laughed.
Will followed suit and laughed at the "rumors." My baby boy, he's never ever leaving! Smith children will not be emancipated."