unbreakable-1

Long before Batman began, The Dark Knight rose or The Avengers assembled, M. Night Shyamalan made Unbreakable. The year was 2000 and, hot on the heels of The Sixth Sense, Hollywood sold the film as just another thriller. It wasn’t until the film began with stats about comic books that we realized the film was a superhero movie. Hollywood hid the film’s true nature from audiences because, 13 years ago, superhero movies weren’t seen as particularly lucrative. Oh, how times have changed.

Though the film didn’t reach the financial heights of Shyamalan’s previous effort, Unbreakable has aged quite nicely as a preamble to the gritty super superhero movies we’re bombarded with today. In the decade plus since its release, the writer/director has continued to say he wants to make a sequel and with the release of his latest film, After Earth, he says he’s “getting closer.” Read a few quotes below.

Two outlets who spoke to Shyamalan asked him about Unbreakable 2 and each got a similar answer. We’ll start with MTV, because there’s a video:

From that, it sounds like while things are progressing, he doesn’t even have the right idea. Also, he refers to needing a personal connection to a movie and you can watch him talk about that at this link.

The other interview was with The Huffington Post. Here’s a segment from the longer article:

Huffington Post: There’s been talk of an “Unbreakable” sequel for a long time.
M. Night Shyamalan: Yeah.

Samuel L. Jackson seems to want to do it. I saw you two talking on Twitter.
It’s a harder one for me because — it’s getting closer, by the way.

I feel like I’ve heard that for the past 10 years. I want that to be true.
I want it to happen, too. We’ve been talking about almost the same subject in every one of your questions, which is artistic integrity — something versus an agenda. Right? And almost every single one of your questions was agenda versus intention, even though you didn’t realize it, but it kind of fell into that theme as we were talking.

Agenda how?
So, like you think I go and I write, “Oh, I’m going to write a twist ending.”

I didn’t know. That’s why I asked.
That’s an agenda versus “I want to talk about loneliness.” And then it comes out, “How is the best way to talk about loneliness?” Intention versus agenda. And then I go, “Oh my God, if I make a movie about loneliness and everybody hated it, will it be able to come out and people will get it?” That’s when you start going, “Oh my God,” and you try to push that away. The same thing with “Unbreakable,” to some extent, it’s excitement to be made. “It’s such a fun thing” is squashing my ability to find the thing that’s connecting me with it. Does that make sense? So, I don’t feel like I did it for agenda reasons. So, slowly I’m getting a story in my head that I feel like is able to tell what I’m feeling right now.

For people who like that movie, it sounds encouraging.
Yeah, it is! The story of a guy who kind of wakes up with a little gray feeling in the morning, I love that character. It’s something that I feel and I want to talk more about that character.

According to the above MTV interview, Shyamalan’s next film is a family drama about forgiveness and he describes it as “micro budget.” So Unbreakable 2 isn’t coming just yet. Plus, frankly, he’s been saying he’s close for almost a decade. It’s getting hard to believe him.

Unbreakable was way before its time, though, and the material still resonates today. Instead of rebooting Superman or Batman, maybe it’s time Mr. Glass and David Dunn were given a shot.

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