If you’re a director, Hollywood can be a very unforgiving place, and M. Night Shyamalan learned that the hard way. In 1999, he immediately became the hottest director on the planet when The Sixth Sense came out. Critics loved the flick and audiences were blown away by the films’ twist. Nowadays, a twist no longer seems nearly as big a deal, but back in ‘99, finding out that Bruce Willis was actually dead the whole time was a mind-blowing event (we apologize to that one reader who’s never seen The Sixth Sense).
Thanks to his his brilliant debut, Shyamalan could seemingly do no wrong, and twist endings became his trademark. Following The Sixth Sense, he the directed his best film (in our opinion), Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, which remains to this day one of the best superhero origin stories to ever grace the silver screen. Today, Marvel and CGI infested action pieces rule the world, but back in 2000, making a dark, brooding and intimate superhero film was an act of courage. Even if it didn’t break the bank like The Sixth Sense, the film still remains the critical highlight of his career.
He then directed Signs in which Mel Gibson (pre-controversy) and Joaquin Phoenix witness an alien invasion, and even if it received something of a lukewarm reception among critics, fans still loved the film.
Then, everything went to shit. The Village divided critics and audiences, and many still claim it’s his lamest twist to date. Soon after, The Lady in the Water released and critics tore it a new one (Shyamalan killing a film critic in the film probably didn’t help…), and what was supposed to be his version of a fairytale became a nightmare. Then, The Happening happened… Much can be said about the film, but we we’ll refrain out of politeness. We’ll just say that Mark Wahlberg talks to plants…
Shyamalan hammered the last nails into his coffin with The Last Airbender and After Earth, and after his two priciest films to date bombed at the box-office (deservedly so), most of us assumed that would be the last we ever saw or heard of Shyamalan. Thankfully, we were dreadfully wrong.
Jason Blum, producer extraordinaire and owner of Blumhouse, gave M. Night the opportunity to get back to directing with the excellent small horror film The Visit in 2016. They teamed up again this year with Split, and not only is Split Shyamalan’s best film since Unbreakable, but (SPOILER ALERT) it is revealed in the closing minutes of the film that the story took place in the Unbreakable universe. Some saw it as a narcissistic joke from Shyamalan, but we were greatly excited about what those last minutes potentially hinted at.
And now, we can all sleep soundly, because Shyamalan has confirmed that his next film, Glass, will indeed be the Unbreakable sequel teased at the end of Split. Willis’ superhero David Dunn and Jackson’s Mr. Glass nemesis will both be returning to the silver screen joined by Split stars James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy.
For most movie geeks out there, this is a dream come true, but let’s hope Shyamalan directs a sequel worthy of Unbreakable, which is definitely no easy task. Glass is announced for January 18th, 2019, but that will give us plenty of time to watch Unbreakable over and over again and marvel (pun entirely intended) at the tweet below!