M. Night Shyamalan already has his eyes set on his next movie for Summer 2024, but in a twist worthy of one of his movies, it will come from Warner Bros. Pictures. The director and his production company Blinding Edge Pictures has signed a multi-year, first-look film deal with the studio.
It’s a big get for Warner Bros. and New Line, both of which recently have made a push to lock up other first-look deals with Akiva Goldsman, Baz Luhrmann, and “Barbarian” filmmaker Zach Cregger. What’s more, Shyamalan’s recent stretch of box office hits, including this month’s “Knock at the Cabin,” and dating back to “Split” in 2017, have all been released by Universal.
There’s no details yet for Shyamalan’s next film, titled “Trap,” but it’s set for release August 2, 2024. Warner Bros. will also release “The Watchers,” which is the directorial debut of the director’s daughter, Ishana Night Shyamalan. The film will begin production this year and is slated for a June 7, 2024 release. Blinding Edge will also ramp up its production under the deal in an aim to find more auteur-driven genre projects.
“Night is one of the most iconic and influential directors of his generation and an auteur in every sense of the word,” Warner Bros. Pictures film heads Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy said in a joint statement. “From ‘The Sixth Sense’ through ‘Split’ to his latest chiller ‘Knock at the Cabin,’ he’s one of the few directors in contemporary cinema whose name alone promises a bold, singular vision, compelling original storytelling and a provocative, surprising and entirely unique experience at the theater. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him to the Warner Bros. family, and look forward to an exciting collaboration with Night and the entire Blinding Edge team.”
Since his breakout feature “The Sixth Sense” in 1999, Shyamalan has been a consistently successful filmmaker, with his films grossing a total of $3.3 billion worldwide and seven of his films reaching No. 1 at the box office. “The Sixth Sense” grossed $672.8 million upon its release, and the film received six Oscar nominations, with Shyamalan garnering screenplay and director nods.
After his successful “Sixth Sense” follow-ups “Unbreakable” and “Signs,” the director released a series of poorly-received but profitable films like “The Happening,” “The Last Airbender,” and “After Earth.” Since 2015 however, he’s rebounded with a slew of low-budget and positively reviewed thriller films like “The Visit,” “Old,” and the “Unbreakable” sequels “Split” and “Glass.” “Knock at the Cabin,” starring Dave Bautista, has already grossed over double its $20 million budget with $40.3 million at the box office. Aside from his work on film, Shyamalan also executive produces and showruns the Apple TV+ series “Servant,” which is currently on its fourth and last season.
“Where I write and direct is my home,” says Shyamalan. “Disney and Universal, where I’ve made most of my films, will always be home and family to me. Warner Bros. has a storied history of cinema. Through its recent experiences, the company has rediscovered its love and appreciation for filmmakers, and the impact of the theatrical experience. We all win when movies succeed in theaters. I believe David Zaslav, Michael De Luca, and Pam Abdy have dedicated themselves to unique filmmakers, and to filling theaters all around the world for years to come.”
Shyamalan is repped by Range Media Partners and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.
Deadline first reported the news.