** Article contains Split spoilers**
For those that have not witnessed the big reveal at the end of M. Night Shyamalan's big return in 2017 via Split, there is a direct parallel between this feature and that of his 2000 installment Unbreakable. That thriller starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson was based off the classic three-part comic book structure. As he took 17 years between takes.
Not only was it a return to success at the box office for the filmmaker, but he would find himself back in the good graces of critics who believed he had lost his touch following a string of flops. Now sitting down on the press circuit for Kong: Skull Island, Jackson detailed his talks with the director about the franchise and what role he would have in the near future.
From 'Let's Wait and See' to 'Where Do We Start?'
Earning his own special screening for Split at the request of Shyamalan, Jackson explained that the secret was kept from him right until he saw the feature for himself. This would lead the actor to ask for a number of questions. As well as getting the creative juices flowing.
“I got a call and (Shyamalan) said, ‘Call me I wanna talk to you about something.’ And I called him, because I always do when I get a message from him always hoping (it’s Unbreakable 2), and he said, ‘I just did this film called Split, I want you to see it,’ and I was like ‘OK, I’m down with that.’ I had no idea what Split was about or anything else, and he said, ‘We’ll talk after you see it.’ So I went to the arranged screening and I called him immediately and was like, ‘OK dude does this mean what I think it means?’ and he was like, ‘Well first we gotta see how the movie does’. And I think the movie’s done well enough now to merit the ‘OK, let’s put this together.’”
From 2 Protagonists To 3
Pitting David Dunn (Willis) against Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) is a tantilizing prospect for The Hateful Eight star. Already pontificating how Mr. Glass would weigh up the two characters.
“I think he’s an adequate foe for what Bruce’s Unbreakable character is in terms of him being sort of unbreakable too in that kind of way, and me having found now—f***, that would be two people that Elijah would look at and go, ‘Why are they so this and I’m so this on this end of the spectrum?’ It’s just a matter of breaking my ass out of wherever that mental institution was they had me locked up and let’s get it on, let’s see what happens!”
Upon the news that the franchise will work as a Split 2 sequel rather than an Unbreakable 2 as such, Jackson was just happy that the project was moving forward to a third installment.
“I would look at the box office receipts from a film that cost what it cost him to make that movie and the success of that particular film in the form of saying, I think that might move forward.”