Shyamalan's next film, media still talk twists
I've defended almost every one of M. Night Shyamalan's films, all of which I think are great apart from The Happening (Filmstalker review) which had many problems, but then I think there's a very simple formula for liking M. Night Shyamalan films, forget The Sixth Sense.
For me that's been the obvious reason why so many critics and the media are against his films, because they want that twist with every film, and when it isn't delivered they deem the film bad. So now he's announced a new film and there are rumours of big name casting and the media are leaping on it.
There's no word on plot or title, but apparently a new script from M. Night Shyamalan is doing the rounds and there are already three names "loosely associated" with it - whatever that means in the scale of completely made up rumour to official announcement I have no idea, but let's go with it for now.
According to The Hollywood Reporter through Yahoo News, who provide no direct story link, only top executives have read the script in order to keep secrecy on it tight, and that was in the presence of a representative of Shyamalan who then took the script from them when they'd finished reading it.
However the story, without knowing anything about the plot, is straight into the same old story:
...while there was a time when an original Shyamalan project -- with their trademarked twists and reveals -- caused great ripples throughout Hollywood, in recent years the filmmaker's box office and critical clout have diminished.
Trademark twists and reveals? Well you can say that about any thriller, but because of the impact of The Sixth Sense every Shyamalan film is compared to the power of that reveal, and that's just not possible to sustain.
I think that Shyamalan might not have helped the situation either, if he had made a clean break from the core twist and done something completely different, like The Last Airbender, immediately after then perhaps the media wouldn't be leaping on it every time his films are announced.
Imagine if he had directed Stuart Little, a film that he wrote after The Sixth Sense, would the press have been screaming how bad that is because the twist didn't hit them like a brick? No he's a mouse!
However let's be realistic, the media shouldn't be leaping on them. Unbreakable, Signs and The Village were all really strong films, and if you got off the hobby horse of twists then you could really enjoy The Village, and I did. I even liked Lady in the Water, although not as strong as the rest of his films, it was very enjoyable.
Now there's not even any knowledge of what this film is about and the leaps to shout about twists are upon us.
It feels like there's a much wider issue going on in Hollywood, and that's the inability of everyone involved in the business to move on to something new. Here it's the media not letting go and accepting something new from the writer and director, whereas in Hollywood it's the inability to let go of the old, of the remakes, the sequels and the prequels. Almost the same problem isn't it?
I do believe if we could all get over Sixth Sense then we could enjoy Shyamalan films a lot better. Move on.
With that I'm excited to learn that Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bruce Willis are "loosely associated" with the film, but remember it's a way, way off from actually being made so casting could change when a studio picks it up and schedules are secured.
Sounds interesting...but then we know nothing else about it. Where do you stand with Shyamalan and his films?