The latest from M. Night Shyamalan, the Smith & Son sci-fi spectacle “After Earth” hits theaters this Friday, and as you might expect it’s another underwhelming effort from the filmmaker (our review is here). And while he’s already gone on record saying that his next movie will be a “micro-budget” movie, the director is keeping the fires burning for what many fans have been hoping for and talking about for years: a sequel to Shyamalan’s supernatural comic book style movie “Unbreakable.” And it looks like that chatter may finally be coalescing in an actual real thing.
The director recently took part in a somewhat testy conversation with The Huffington Post, where he revealed that an “Unbreakable 2” is “getting closer, by the way.” So, what has been the hold up? Well, according to Shyamalan, every single one of his films is a type of therapy that “represent where I am” in his life. And that’s the nut he’s been trying to crack with the brewing sequel.
“I want it to happen, too [but]….’It’s such a fun thing’ is squashing my ability to find the thing that’s connecting me with it… So, slowly I’m getting a story in my head that I feel like is able to tell what I’m feeling right now,” he explained.
But here’s the thing — Shyamalan has had this idea since way back in 2010. At the time, he squashed notions of an “Unbreakable” follow-up, saying he had developed his idea into a standalone movie that would be part of the Night Chronicles horror franchise he was producing that seemed to stall out after the poorly received “Devil.”
“I cannibalized the idea for the sequel to ‘Unbreakable’ for one of the Night Chronicles,” he revealed in September 2010. “It was such a cool idea for a villain, and it was actually originally in the script for ‘Unbreakable,’ and it was too much. There were too many villains, so I pulled this villain out and was like, ‘I’ll make this the second flick.’ I fleshed it out more and more, and thought, ‘This could be a standalone movie.’ I’ll just say it: the third Night Chronicles movie is what would have been the sequel [to ‘Unbreakable’]. So now I need to come up with a new idea.”
So maybe he’s just going back to the original idea since that third Night Chronicles seems unlikely to happen? We’ll see. But somewhere in Shyamalan is a desire to do something completely different, and frankly, that’s the filmmaker we’d prefer to see. “Left to my own devices, I’d definitely do [something like] ‘The Tree of Life.’ That’s where I would go. I’d love to do that — ambiguous and quiet and all that stuff,” he reflected to Huffington Post. Maybe for the micro-budget movie?
Can an “Unbreakable” sequel be the return to respectability Shyamalan needs? Or do you want to see him doing something straight from the heart? After all, this is the guy who is a huge fan of “The Last Picture Show,” Stanley Kubrick and Michelangelo Antonioni…