"I made a movie about comic books before anybody wanted to..." - hmv.com talks to M. Night Shyamalan
Sometimes in life, timing is everything. When M. Night Shyamalan first began working on a follow-up to his breakthrough 1999 hit Sixth Sense, superhero movies - as unfathomable as it may seem now - had become deeply unfashionable. The Batman franchise that had started so promisingly in the hands of Tim Burton had petered out with the disappointing Batman & Robin, big-screen adaptations of comic book characters such as The Phantom and Fantastic Four had failed to capture the imaginations of audiences, and the only other superhero movie on the horizon was Bryan Singer's 2000 reboot of X-Men.
As it turned out, both Singer's Marvel adaptation and Shyamalan's more grounded tale of a man discovering his own superhuman abilities proved to be the beginnings of a revival in superhero movies, with later movies such as Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and Jon Favreau's Iron Man helping to kick-start the box office juggernaut the genre has become.
Originally conceived as the first part of a trilogy, Unbreakable was by no means a flop, but the box office receipts were more modest than expected and didn't persuade the studio to commission the sequel Shyamalan already had in mind. The ideas for second and third films were subsequently shelved, along with a character that the director had pulled from the final version of the Unbreakable script: a man suffering from Disassociative Identity Disorder with superhuman strength.
Many years later, that same character formed the basis of James McAvoy's personality-switching performance in Split, a kidnap thriller with a supernatural edge which contained hints suggesting the storyline took place in the same universe as Unbreakable. When Spilt proved to be a hit, Shyamalan saw the chance to finally complete his trilogy and soon announced a third film that would tie the two stories together.
Glass makes its arrival in cinemas this Friday (January 18th) and sees Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their roles from Unbreakable, while both James McAvoy and Split co-star Anya Taylor-Joy also return to pick up the story where Split left off. When local hero David Dunn foils a kidnap attempt by disturbed former zoo employee Kevin Crumb, both of them are captured and sent to a psychiatric facility, where David is reunited with a face from his past.
Ahead of the film's release in the UK, we caught up with director M. Night Shyamalan for a chat about how the ending of his 'Eastrail 177 Trilogy' finally made its way to the screen. Watch our interview below...
Glass is in UK cinemas from Friday (January 18th)