With his latest film release, Split, M Night Shyamalan has returned to status as a prolific filmmaker. Several duds and underwhelming flicks left audiences confused and thinking the Sixth Sense director had lost his touch. But with the release of Split, a movie about a kidnapper with Dissociative Identity Disorder, critics and audiences alike left with a sense of hope for Shyamalan’s directing future. Perhaps the filmmaker has returned to form and this latest string of movies has been merely an anomaly in his career. Luckily, there’s more than just a glimmer of hope for Shyamalan. Without revealing too many details, Split links directly into Shyamalan’s previous film Unbreakable. And just this past week, Shyamalan has announced a sequel for Unbreakable/Split, titled Glass.
With this announcement, Shyamalan is not only riding a new high note in his career, he’s opened up a new universe of characters to work with. At first, Split’s relationship to Unbreakable seemed merely referential (the revelation occurs at the very end of the movie) but now it’s solidified. With Glass, Shyamalan has set forth the possibility for multiple sequels, focusing on separate but related superheroes. It seems that’s been the trend so far. And who knows? Shyamalan might even set up an Avengers/Justice League type of superhero universe! If Split is any sense of Shyamalan’s creativity as a superhero creator, we could be in for a whole host of amazing heroes and villains.
Throughout his career, Shyamalan has gained a reputation for his plot twists and shock endings. But with Split, Shyamalan has proved he can tone it down and create a more traditional story. If he can focus on character development instead of trying to shock viewers with his now predictable twists, Shyamalan can look forward to a revived career. The beauty of Split wasn’t merely the connection to Unbreakable. Instead, it was Shyamalan’s ability to craft a gripping thriller and create real, yet frightening supernatural characters. This new level of realism bodes well for the filmmaker’s future Unbreakable universe, which can hopefully utilize an X-Men-esque mutant angle. I’m excited to hear about Glass, not only to watch a new Shyamalan thriller but to see him dive fully into the superhero world.
So while we wait, let’s just watch that sweet sweet Unbreakable ending again.