m. night shyamalan sequel options

M. Night Shyamalan hasn’t shown too much interest in making sequels. (He had one in mind for The Last Airbender, but that didn’t pan out.) In the 18 years since the success of The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan has been lucky enough to write and direct mostly original movies. If there’s one sequel we’d be happy to see him make, though, it’s an Unbreakable follow-up.

While the massive success of some of his earlier movies probably made some studio execs dream of sequels, they could never make one without Shyamalan’s blessing. Below, the director talks about some deals he was wise enough to make early on in his career. (Spoilers for the ending of Split ahead.)

Split‘s ending might’ve made some moviegoers wonder how Shyamalan was able to pull off the end, which has Unbreakable‘s David Dunn (Bruce Willis) return, and whether there was any legal duct tape that needed cutting or if deals were made. Shyamalan’s latest Blumhouse production was distributed by Universal; Disney’s Buena Vista released his superhero movie in 2000. There was no conflict getting Dunn to appear in the Blumhouse film, though.

Cinemablend asked Shyamalan about the situation. Here’s what he had to say:

Luckily I took care of all the right stuff. I had it all arranged, and everyone was fantastic about it, and everything like that. So it worked out great on that front. I kind of own the sequel rights to all my movies; not own, but nobody can make a sequel to my movies without permission. I gave up whatever I needed to give up to make sure I had those over time, because I figured 20 something years from now, I’m going to be pretty upset if [someone made a sequel without my involvement].

The director never wanted any of his stories to be exploited, and that if a sequel was ever made to one of his original films, it’d have to be made organically. Cashing in on a sequel has never appealed to the director. Shyamalan also says he enjoys the thrill of making original movies, and the chance to show an audience maybe something they haven’t seen before.

If a sequel does make sense to him, like the one to Unbreakable involving Willis and Split‘s James McAvoy, he’ll consider it. Right now, he has an outline for it. When it comes down to cracking the outline and getting the Unbreakable sequel script written, he recently said: “I’m almost there but I’m not quite there.”

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