Either M. Night Shyamalan is following through a plan he has crafted for years in the making, or he is getting carried away with his success. The director is back in the limelight with his feature Split. The film was a hit with James McAvoy and, while he would be best advised to enjoy the moment for what it is worth, he is already looking ahead to a sequel many will be keen to view.
Spoiler Alert! There are spoilers from Split ahead!
The 2000 title Unbreakable saw Bruce Willis pitted against Samuel L. Jackson for a psychological thriller. And, alongside a warm reception from critics, the title took home $248.1m from a budget of just $75m. Doing the press rounds and stopping by at MTV, Shyamalan indicated that a sequel is something that he wants to do next.
"I think so," replied the director. "I think it's the next thing. I do have another idea that has nothing to do with this... Something I'm excited about as well."
Split Crossover Outlines A Sequence
Perhaps part of his masterplan all along, Split happens to tease a crossover with Unbreakable towards the end credits. As Willis reprises his role as David Dunn. With McAvoy's character earning the nickname 'The Hord,' a lady at the diner asks if she has heard that name before, only for Dunn to explain that she is thinking of Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson).
Speaking about his first in the series some 17 years prior, Shyamalan argued that the premise was far removed from what a regular superhero movie was about. "All I can say is this," he started. "If Unbreakable was... take the comic book thing away. If the movie is about a guy who's the only person who survives a train wreck, everyone else dies and he's the only person who survives and he doesn't have a scratch on him. How is that possible? That's our high concept. A really cool story."
Third Narrative Must Be Unique
With one hero being a man that cannot be physically broken, while the other is an individual who branches out into 24 separate characters, the director says his third film in the sequence has to stand alone on it's two feet entirely.
"And then this one, it's 'Three girls get abducted by a person that has this disorder. He believes he's many people. And all of the many different personalities are saying that there's another personality coming to get them. It's called The Beast,'" outlined the filmmaker. "That's a really cool concept. This third movie needs to have its own idea. The high concept of that final movie can't be, 'It's the final Unbreakable.' There has to be something about it that makes it its own movie. These two (Split and Unbreakable) are their own movies. That's when I'll be happiest. When (the last one) is its own movie. In a way, I can say that it just can be watched by itself."