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Shyamalan considers Unbreakable 2

Unbreakable.jpgM. Night Shyamalan has been talking about his film future, and he's been discussing the possibility of a sequel to Unbreakable, or at least another film that is based around the comic book theme.

I'm excited about the idea of an Unbreakable sequel, but it cannot – and I really mean to stress this – do anything to affect the strength of the original, that is a must. What might be interesting is another comic-book in reality story.

Either way M. Night Shyamalan is interested in doing another film. He was talking about it recently and when asked about a possible sequel he said:

“I genuinely just asked this question the other day — should I make Unbreakable 2? I do love the [comic book movie] genre, I just wanna make sure that I’m able to express who I am...I don’t want to get so lost in the subject that I have to neuter everything that’s me in it, so maybe Unbreakable is the comic book thing I should do — I keep coming back to that.”

I do hope he keeps making films, sure he's had a few stumbling blocks – although far from the drops in his career that the media make them out to be – but look at other film-makers and you can see much longer careers littered with some terrible films, why is this guy getting all the flack? What, do you want M. Night Shyamalan to stop making films and Uwe Boll to continue?

Anyway, that's not the point here, the real discussion is about should they have a second Unbreakable film and revist the characters of David Dunn, the man who realises there's something special about him, and Mr Glass, the man who discovers Dunn and helps him realise what he is, all at the expense of the lives of hundreds of people.

Personally I loved the film, it's a wonderful idea, beautifully brought to the big screen, and amazingly thought through. In many ways I believe this is better than Sixth Sense. Talk to critics though and they don't like it, after all it doesn't meet what they think a Shyamalan film should be...that template having been created with just one film.

MTV through /Film have his comments above that really do look like he's considering it, and there's a great quote from Samuel L. Jackson that sets the scene perfectly:

“He was a victim of what Quentin [Tarrantino] was a victim of. ‘Jackie Brown’ is a great movie, but it’s not ‘Pulp Fiction 2.’ ‘Unbreakable’ is a great movie, but it’s not ‘I see [expletive removed - Richard] dead people.”

Great point and well made, however Unbreakable is much better than Jackie Brown. Originally it seems that the film was meant to be a trilogy, but the poor reviews and critics who are full of themselves and want to be personalities more than enjoy films, destroyed that idea.

Shyamalan admits that the critics got to him too, something you don't hear film-makers admitting to very often, but how could anyone not be affected by the continual backlash he receives?

“I made the mistake of getting caught up in the hype of the immediate reaction of the movie, which, experience has shown me, is not accurate to any of my movies...And If I had been more confident and said 'I believe in that movie, I love that movie, and I should just go start writing the second one,' that would’ve been the right move. I’ve still been thinking about it a lot and wonder if it’s too late.”

It's not too late and you could really do a second film, and a third. Apparently he even talked to Jackson and Bruce Willis about where the characters would go. With Jackson's Glass breaking out of prison and Willis' hero reluctantly going after him, it could have continued to develop the superhero story in real life, and probably to great success.

I would definitely want to see more of the Unbreakable series, what about you?



Expressing who he is, Richard, is expected from an auteur making a no-budget art film, but this is not the proper vector for high-budget, commercial filmmaking. Undoubtedly, Shyamalan is competent and "Unbreakable" without question his most accomplished work. But you cannot talk about his future film work without the discussion centering upon his former success.

In 1959 the TV series, One Step Beyond featured an episode titled “Epilogue” written by Don M. Mankiewicz in which the character of Carl Archer, a recovering alcoholic, travels to Nevada in an effort to patch things up with his wife, Helen—she and their son, Stevie on an excursion there, visiting a nearby silver mine. Meanwhile, Carl incidentally hears something about a mine collapsing when accosted out of the blue by Helen who, without pause or preamble, immediately hectors him to the site of the reported cave-in. Compelling her husband to dig Stevie out of the rubble, she strangely in doing so offers him no physical help whatsoever. Upon unearthing his son, miraculously still alive, Carl also sees Helen lying not far away on the cavern floor. She's quite dead; died instantly when the mine had collapsed. You see, Carl had been brought to the site by Helen’s ghost.

I don't have issue with a writer whose inspiration comes from someone else's idea--"Sixth Sense" is an obvious reworking of "Epilogue"--but I do take exception with any writer whose "inspiration" is lifted from the hard work of another author without attribution. Whatever smugness there is on the part of movie critics, M. Night Shyamalan appears disingenuous by not giving credit where credit is due.

On the one hand, he seems to occupy a philosophical trench when it comes to filmmaking: "I just wanna make sure that I’m able to express who I am...I don’t want to get so lost in the subject that I have to neuter everything that’s me in it...."

On the other hand, this once promising filmmaker is now retreating to a former success (not "Signs" or "The Village") to indulge a sequel. Did I already use the word "disingenuous"? Well, so much for philosophy.

Has he said that his inspiration came from this story? I haven't heard that, and if he did then that's fine, but if he hasn't how do we know he hasn't had the idea himself and written it totally on his own? Why, when we find stories that are connected to films, do we assume that they've copied or stolen them?

We see plenty of lawsuits being raised about successful films after the fact and they aren't upheld very often.

Before I read Stephen King's The Dark Tower I wrote a story that was on a similar vein, but I didn't think for a second that either of us was influenced by the other! There are thousands of films and stories out there, and a film-maker can't see them all.

I don't believe for a second that he's "retreating" to a previous success. It was documented at the time that there was a serious consideration for a trilogy at the time of the first film, he even talked about it with the co-stars and the press.

I think you're going the exact way the critics who deliberately hit at him were with your closing statement:

"...this once promising filmmaker is now retreating to a former success..."

Once promising? Once? Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable, Village, Lady in the Water? Yes, they aren't to everyone's taste, yes the stories change, yes they aren't all about a big twist, but they are very good films.

In the sea of film-makers out there it astounds me how someone who delivers films like this gets so much criticism from non-film-makers.

+"Non-film-makers" are the ones who buy tickets at the wickets. If, as you say, M. Night Shyamalan's movies are "very good films" then there is apparently notable diminishing return on the part of the people who pay to see or own them.

The eye of the beholder notwithstanding, those who find fault in Shyamalan's film work are not perforce heretics nor witch hunters. Over the guilty pleasures of watching Shyamalan’s failures, many film critics pre-consciously indulge some degree of Schedenfruede. However, had "Signs" or "The Village" or "Lady in the Water" equaled, approached or surpassed the financial fortunes of "The Sixth Sense", I'm reasonably certain that the Disney Studio would have never let this thoroughbred out of their stable, the director would not be chatting about an "Unbreakable" sequel, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I concede it's premature to refer to a youthfully vigorous Shyamalan as a "once promising filmmaker" which, I'll admit, is a measure of my own disappointment after seeing those films that followed "Unbreakable. But I assure you it is not a degree of any proactive Schedenfruede on my part.

About 68 years ago a once youthfully vigorous 26-year-old Orson Welles had a promising career after "Citizen Kane"...yes, each film he subsequently made wasn't to everyone's taste; yes the stories change--they weren't "Kane"--but, Richard, they were very good films. It's that eye-of-the-beholder thing at work, I suppose. In the case of M. Night Shyamalan, there’s still time; so far, he’s no Orson Welles, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

You have no idea what you talk about, ever...Stick to writing the news, your opinions are god awful...I cannot believe you just called Lady in the Water and the Village very good films...Have you watched the Village? That movie IS ONLY A TWIST...His pale attempt at the Sixth Sense type ending where they find out that they actually are in a State park?ring a bell??
Are you serious...Maybe its different over there, but in the United States M Night is basically considered a joke...A laughable ego maniac who bought in to the Spielberg comparisons immediately after he made his first success...
Unbreakable is good, merely that...you act like its his crowning achievement, its not...look at it very simply...If you had that power, YOU'D REALIZE IT WHEN YOU WERE LIKE 15...not 45, not conveniently during an emotional time in your life...
Signs is ok, its frightening and genuine...But everything else...you would have to be daft,or have an extremely genuinely horrible opinion in general to utter the words 'very good film' about any other M Night movie...
Richard, please please stop writing like you are a critic, you're not, you're a (exploitive) NEWS WRITER..A gossipteer...You need to stop acting like you know anything,because you dont, you are awful, start watching movies and stop trying to sound clever because you write a million articles a day about a million different topics...get a staff.

Matthew - if you disagree with me that's fine, but there's no need to post your comment six times in a row because you're angry someone has different views than you. Say your piece and post it once.

I have no idea what I'm talking about ever? That's the typical ignorant attitude of the internet idiot. Someone disagrees and attack, attack, attack.

I have a perfect idea of what I'm talking about because it's my opinion, and my site. I'll stick to writing whatever I want to and giving my opinion, which is a perfectly valid one shared by many others.

The Village is way more than a twist and has a couple of great performances and a strong storyline with the creature in the woods. I actually would have preferred not to have the big twist ending, the creature side was an interesting enough story, and the tension building through that was very good.

Sure it didn't hit as hard as his previous films, but it wasn't a bad film by any means.

Lady in the Water had some strong characters, direction and some good plot moments. Until The Happening I would have rated it as one of his weakest films, but still enjoyable. You just had to abandon an unwarranted expectation of a twist and realise that this was a tale aimed at a much younger audience.

I do love your comment "maybe it's different over there", if ever there was a stereotypical comment that one could expect, that's it. There's so much could be read from that, and not just to apply it to this discussion.

I love the way you just say as a matter of fact that of course you'd realise you had that power at fifteen, of course. Well perhaps that's your film, and that amazing logic can be applied to every single film that sets something up for a plot.

Lord of the Rings - of course Gandalf could have used magic to transport the ring across the land, or conjure up the giant birds to transport them in the first place.

Star Wars - of course they would have realised much earlier who their dad was.

It's easy, I can do it for any film.

Signs has some great tension building and superbly strong moments, and I really enjoyed it, again one of his stronger films.

As for your constructive advice, I'll leave it up there, but no, I'm not listening to a word of your ill informed ranting.

I do write a lot, but it's all commentary on news, the only straight news I reproduce is in Stalked articles, and even then I add in my opinion.

Filmstalker is about opinion, and my opinion as it's my site. Filmstalker, that's me, it's my site. I'm not bringing in staff to make it a group website and turn it into a business for earning money. Thanks for your opinion, but it's not required.

Oh, and exploitive? I have no idea where that one came from.

I don't act like I know anything, I do know things. Lot's of things, and a lot of them to do with film. I'm sure I know things that you don't like respect, self-respect and respect to others. How to talk to people without hiding behind the internet, and treating them as I would face to face.

All this because you don't agree with my views on Ghostbusters or Shyamalan. Well perhaps indulging in an adult discussion might be the answer, that and respecting people.

Frederick, good points, particularly with Orson Welles. However I wouldn't compare Shyamalan to Welles by a mile.

One of my ongoing frustrations is that there is so much thrown against Shyamalan in a world where there are so many directors who are making genuinely terrible films and doing so time and time again, and they make money, they keep going, and Shyamalan takes tons of abuse.

I know he plays himself up, and that does irritate me, but he's still been creating some good films. I'll concede that The Happening wasn't one of those though, and Lady in the Water and The Village have not been nearly as strong as Unbreakable or Sixth Sense.

See Matthew, that's an adult conversation.

I do apologise for the extra comments, every time I hit post it told me I had to redo it, so that was not my intention to leave the same six times.
Leaving comments and hiding behind the internet is wrong, I've always frowned on that behavior and now seem to have fallen into the same.
Intelligent discussion is all we can hope for, and in hindsight letting my opinion and my pride run rampid was wrong.
Typically I don't care, I express what I think and stay true.
But I sincerely thank you for your response, and behalf of internet hiders everywhere, I apolgise.
The typical 'different over there' comment is obsurd...No basis whatsoever.
Hopefully further actual discussions can occur, ones where I can obstain from acting like opinions are concrete and certain.
Thank you Richard for changing my opinion, for calling me out and making me take a look at myself.
You're a good man.

Wow Matthew, you've surprised me, genuinely. Well done and huge kudos for coming back with that. It's hugely appreciated and exceptionally good of you. That's taken a strong character to do that when you could have easily just moved on.

I do hope there are more discussions to be had, I do love a good debate, and I'm happy to have my opinion turned around too - actually I've felt a little "turned" since I saw The Happening.

Thing is, if I didn't like and want debate I wouldn't be putting so much opinion up here and then asking for comments.

Thanks for your words Matthew, and for coming back with that comment.

Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one. I for one enjoy your writing, even if I don't always agree with you (which is kind of the point, if you ask me).

Wow, this is why I just love this site, it always comes out (inadvertently mind you) with something out of the blue that floors me and this discussion is one of those.

In all the years I have followed your writing, you've always been a gentleman Richard and I salute you. Keep it up!

And to Matthew, hope to see more of you around here.

Back to the topic, I don't mind a sequel to Unbreakable either, as it's just my most favorite Shyamalan pic. I agree with Rich about The Happening, it was still enjoyable, but I am still annoyed that Wahlberg's & Deschanel's acting was so DULL which made the film even worse.


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