Outside of the dolts running DC’s and WB’s peculiar partnership, there is nothing more frustrating in Hollywood than why M. Night Shyamalan can’t recapture the “OMG” momentum he blazed into cinemas with the prototypical twist movie, The Sixth Sense.
(Because admit it, NO ONE knew that was going to happen.)
When Bruce Willis left the movie in a ghostly vapor, everyone was waiting for the next M. Night masterpiece. Then came Unbreakable. Not bad at all, namely because it romanticized the nerd community superbly (and it was eight years before Iron Man).
However, that was followed by a litany of meh with Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, and that colossal fart-and-fall-down offering of The Last Airbender.
It took 17 years to get the James McAvoy-led Split but when the world saw it, they went back for seconds. And this had a twist ending that wrapped us all around Shyamalan’s finger once again.
*Spoiler Alert, but admit it, if you don’t know already… c’mon.*
When we discovered David Dunn sitting in that diner, it was clear ‘Beast’ happened in the same timeline as Unbreakable. Only, no one really appreciated how this man that Hollywood kinda gave up on was delivering an unprecedented move in those brief moments when we saw Willis.
Do you realize it took M. Night Shyamalan to unite Disney and Universal to promote the same movie? Not Spielberg. Not Scorsese. Not the Coen Brothers. But that guy?!
Back when Unbreakable became a distant great uncle to comic book movies in 2000, Disney-owned Buena Vista Pictures brought it to us all. Things change over time and Universal was responsible for distributing Split. So, how did David Dunn end up in a surprise cameo? Night had to beg a favor from the Mouse to borrow the rights to Unbreakable.
Once the mouse heard those cash registers ka-ching for Split, it was agreed that Universal will deliver the movie across America and Disney will send it around the rest of the world.
Think about that.
These two companies aren’t really bosom buddies. Both compete for screen time and patronage in movie theaters and entertainment parks. Yet, they are partnering to bring a Shyamalan film to all of us. And why? Money. Glass stands to be Night’s most profitable movie ever, which The Sixth Sense did only $26 million on its opening weekend but grossed $293 million overall.
When you talk to cinephile geeks, Kevin Feige and the Russo boys own what comes out of their mouth. Zack Snyder influences what stays in their heart. But deep in the dank recesses of their closet lies a hope chest with M. Night Shymalan’s name engraved on it. We want him to succeed because he masters non-spoilers and ultimate twists.
Sense created the archetype. Unbreakable used it. Split resurrected it. And now Glass promises a triumvirate that will bring him back for good. At least, for everyone else.
Glass reunites Bruce Willis (David Dunn) and Samuel L. Jackson (Elijah Price aka Mr. Glass), along with co-star James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb / The Horde. Others include Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark, Luke Kirby, and Adam David Thompson. All those “personalities” hit theaters Jan. 18, 2019.