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What’s Next for M. Night Shyamalan After Glass?

January 21, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Glass Bruce Willis

No twist here! M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass took in $40.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing with a four-day sum of $47 million.

Glass is the 3rd part of the puzzle that brought Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and Split that stars Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and James McAvoy.

Universal is hoping the box office results are less like Unbreakable, which was a modest hit that gained a cult following, and more like Split, which made $138.3 million domestically against a production budget of just $9 million.

Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, said, “M. Night Shyamalan masterfully brought together the characters of Unbreakable and Split to create a highly anticipated event film. We couldn’t be happier to be in business with Night and Blumhouse.”

Where will business with Night take us from here?

Shyamalan self-financed Glass. He’s made it clear that he likes to go his own way with scripts and projects. He hit success fast with The Sixth Sense, which was the second-highest-grossing film of 1999 making $293 million in the US and $379 million in other markets.

The Sixth Sense was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Shyamalan, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Haley Joel Osment, and Best Supporting Actress for Toni Collette.

With success came struggle. Never reaching the heights of Sense with films like Unbreakable, Signs and The Village, Shyamalan gained the reputation for his twist endings, to the point of being detrimental to his movies.

He has directed 13 movies, all expect After Earth, written by himself. That’s a rarity in Hollywood and while it can be freeing, it can also hurt the projects.

With Glass doing well, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’ll continue universe building, presenting an alternative to the Marvel and DC superheroes. Being the architect of your own cinematic universe is a heady thing and I could easily see him taking that step.

Speaking of Marvel and DC, Night was asked if he would ever consider adapting a Marvel or DC property for the screen? “I mean, you never know, you never know,” Shyamalan told Entertainment Weekly. “There’s been light conversations in the past about these things. But it would have to be in a way that would allow for very weird, big weirdness to be okay.”

Which is something both studios have been opening to. “Yeah, absolutely,” says Shyamalan. “I think [things] are changing. Finding a fresh take on the comic book genre is a very powerful approach now to these movies, and I think one what everybody is looking for.”

What I would really like is for him to partner with a screenwriter and/or dabble with stories outside his own. I think it would improve his own writing and even his directing.

If not, DC needs to give him Ambush Bug and let him do his thing.

What would you like to see M. Night Shyamalan do next?