MOTW: "After Earth" and Other Father-Son Screen Duos

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Recently reunited father and son Cypher and Kitai Raige are stranded on Earth after a crash landing. It's been 1,000 years since humans inhabited the Earth and Kitai must journey through the wilderness of the evolved wildlife to save the duo.
May 27th, 2013

Father-Son Duos Who Lit Up the Big Screen

Not every famous actor has children who grow up to be actors as well. Some children grow up wanting the exact opposite of their parent's career or simply have no intention of becoming an acting legend. A handful of actors' children do decide to pursue movie or television stardom, and a few even get to star with their famous fathers on the big screen.

 

Will and Jaden Smith in "After Earth"

Will Smith is such a big superstar that he really needs no introduction almost anywhere he goes. His son Jaden isn't quite as well known, but that is about to change. Jaden first starred with his multitalented dad in "The Pursuit of Happyness," playing the son of Will's character. It was a very dramatic film that won kudos for both of them and helped set up a career for Jaden that is about to get much bigger with the release of "After Earth," a sci-fi action movie set for a May 31, 2013 release. In it, Jaden and Will, playing another father-son pair, are both stranded on Earth nearly a thousand years after humans escaped the planet. Jaden's character must find a way to signal for help to save his ailing father's life, which puts him in lots of dangerous situations.

 

Martin Sheen and Sons in "Wall Street," "The Way," and More ...

Acclaimed actor Martin Sheen has two famous sons who are actors, Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. Sheen has famously said that he encouraged his children to study and embrace the arts, which is probably a big reason why Emilio and Charlie both decided to get into acting.  After his boys established themselves as actors, Martin starred in Emilio's film "Bobby" about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, as well as the 2010 film "The Way," both of which Emilio wrote and directed. Martin also starred in "Wall Street" in 1987 with Charlie and has a recurring role on Charlie's FX comedy "Anger Management," playing his father.

 

Ben and Jerry Stiller in "Zoolander"

Jerry Stiller made a name for himself by portraying great, unusual characters, a trait he passed on to his equally famous son Ben. Though they come from different generations with a different take on what is funny, that doesn't mean they can't join forces and meld both their comedy takes together on camera. They have appeared together in several films, the most famous being the smash hit film "Zoolander," with Ben taking the lead role of the not-so-smart supermodel and Jerry taking a hilarious supporting role, where he gets to steal a few scenes from his famous son.

 

Michael and Kirk Douglas in "It Runs in the Family"

"It Runs in the Family" is a very appropriate name for a movie that stars legendary actors Michael and Kirk Douglas. Kirk and his real-life wife Diana play the matriarch and patriarch of a New York family that is highly dysfunctional. Their son is played by real-life son Michael, whose real-life son Cameron also plays his son in the film. That's a lot of sons, but it works well to give the film an emotional heft as the family tries to reunite after being somewhat estranged for awhile.

 

James and Scott Caan in "Mercy" 

James Caan was already a successful actor when he starred in the classic "The Godfather" as temperamental mobster Sonny Corleone. The film would take his career to the next level and make him an international superstar. His son Scott decided to follow in his father's very big acting footsteps and has carved out a very nice career for himself in both films and television. He currently stars in the CBS procedural "Hawaii Five-0," a remake of the classic cop show. His father guest starred in an episode of the show in 2012, but that was a full three years after the duo made their screen debut together in the romantic drama "Mercy." 

 

Stephen and Frank Dillane in "Papadopoulos and Sons"

This duo is not as well known as the Smiths or Stillers, but, if their new film "Papadopoulos and Sons" is any indication, both father and son have the star power and screen presence to make it as big as their father-son contemporaries. Stephen, who is known for his work on HBO's "Game of Thrones," stars as patriarch Harry, who loses everything in a stock market crash and must relocate his family to work with his estranged brother in a restaurant. The family includes son James, who is portrayed by Stephen's real-life son Frank. Though there are no announced plans to star in another film together, their powerful portrayals in this film should have audiences clamoring to see them team up again.