Managing Expectations For M. Night Shyamalan’s GLASS
*SPOILERS FOR UNBREAKABLE & SPLIT AHEAD*
A little history. After The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs, M. Night Shyamalan became my favorite director. Signs in particular was my absolute favorite movie for 12 years before Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar dethroned it in 2014. Night Shyamalan made original films with crazy twist endings and they all felt different yet uniquely similar. Night could do no wrong in those days. Many people feel he lost his touch after The Village, Lady In The Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth failed to live up to expectations.
I’ll admit I didn’t like those movies. The Village gets a slight pass for being intriguing but the others didn’t work. But that’s okay. As his popularity plummeted, people clamoured for Night to go ‘back to the well’ and create a sequel to arguably his most popular film, Unbreakable. Many people (myself included) would go as far as to call Shyamalan’s sophomore effort one of the best comic books movies of all time. Especially when it comes to expertly crafted origin stories.
Yet still… For 17 years… We waited…
Until a mysterious little film called Split starring James McAvoy came along. Night had already begun to rekindle his good standing with general film audiences after 2016’s well received ‘The Visit’. People were excited about M. Night Shyamalan again. I was just excited to see him doing what he does best again. Thrillers.
Then the ending came and nerds everywhere rejoiced! Split was actually set in the same world as Unbreakable. Not a traditional sequel but the setup was brilliant. David Dunn, sitting in a diner, listening to news that a powerful BEAST had murdered innocent people.
And now we have official word that Bruce Willis will take on McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb in the official Unbreakable sequel titled GLASS. As the title implies, Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price AKA Mr. Glass will return as well!
The film is set to be released on January 18, 2019.
So… We have less than two years to find out how these films truly connect to form one of the most unlikely trilogies of all time.
Here’s the official synopsis for the film:
M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000’s UNBREAKABLE and last year’s SPLIT—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: GLASS. From UNBREAKABLE, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from SPLIT are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.
Following the conclusion of SPLIT, GLASS finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.
This riveting culmination of his worldwide blockbusters will be produced by Shyamalan and Jason Blum, who also produced the writer/director’s previous two films for Universal. They produce again with Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock, and Steven Schneider, who will executive produce.
Sounds like Glass will have elements of Unbreakable, Split and a little Silence of the Lambs for good measure? What we know for sure is Price was imprisoned in an institution for the criminally insane. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Price continued his work looking for ‘special’ people.
He may have even come across (or potentially advised) Dr. Karen Fletcher’s research. If that’s the case, she may have shared information about Kevin’s 22 personalities and certainly the threat of the 23rd. Let’s assume Price knows about The Beast. What’s his move? What information could he have that could help bring him down?
Of course, that’s assuming Mr. Glass wants to bring down Crumb in the first place. Does he still consider David Dunn a friend? Or will he use the confrontation between Dunn and Crumb as a way to escape? Perhaps to accomplish something much worse? Maybe all of this is meant to help Price find someone else like Dunn and Crumb.
Needless to say, Price will be central to the plot. M. Night Shyamalan is not a random filmmaker. He chooses his titles carefully and usually they are meant to mean multiple things. (Signs = crop signs & signs from God etc…)
Regardless of Price’s motivations, this trio of power houses will be thrilling to watch on the big screen. I find myself genuinely excited to find out what happens next. The cast, the director, the story behind the films, the anticipation, the 17+ year wait… It instantly makes Glass one of my most anticipated films for the next few years.
That’s where I want to be careful. It’s not fair to set my expectations so high but I can’t help it. Anyone who loved Unbreakable will adore Split if only for the film’s final moments. Dunn is Unbreakable and Crumb is nearly invincible. What will happen when these two titans fight?
I should probably calm down. There’s a long time to wait before Glass hits theaters in 2019. Until then, I have to commend M. Night Shyamalan for his timing. This film has all the potential in the world to be his greatest film. That’s what excites me most. We have another classic M. Night Shyamalan thriller to look forward too!