Unbreakable

M. Night Shyamalan has been discussing the possibility of an Unbreakable 2 on and off for the past 15 years, and he still hasn’t given up hope.

In a new interview, he explains why a sequel would be “cool,” and points out how drastically the superhero movie landscape has changed since the first Unbreakable came out in 2000. Read the Shyamalan Unbreakable 2 comments after the jump. 

Speaking to Collider, Shyamalan said he “sometimes” still hopes for an Unbreakable 2. “I love those characters and I love that world,” he said.

Nowadays, superhero films are a dime a dozen. But when Unbreakable first opened, the current wave of superhero movies was only getting started. X-Men had opened just a few months before, and Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, and Iron Man were still years away. Shyamalan remembers how skeptical execs were about Unbreakable at first:

Of course, the whole world makes comic book movies now. At the time, it was completely novel. I remember when I made it, Disney was literally like, “Comic books?! There’s no market for comic books!” That’s all they make now! It was a hilarious conversation. I remember it. I was like, “Maybe you’re right. Maybe nobody will come see comic book movies.” They were like, “Those are people in little conventions who like comic books.” And I was like, “But, I like comic books!”

That said, Shyamalan doesn’t think Unbreakable 2 should be “a comic book movie.” He explains:

Yeah. But the beauty of the world of Unbreakable is that you’re playing it for reality. It should never feel like a comic book movie. It feels like a straight-up drama. It’s real. You’re confronting the possibility that comic book characters were based on people that were real. That’s the premise, so the tone has to be super grounded. It would be cool.

Shyamalan talks a good game. Unbreakable was a hit in its day, grossing $248 million worldwide and earning mostly, if not entirely, positive reviews. Its contemplative tone set it apart from the comic book adaptations that came later. Even that ending seems kind of interesting, in retrospect; at this point, I’d welcome a superhero pic that didn’t end in yet another aerial battle sequence over a major metropolitan area.

But even if Unbreakable holds up, Shyamalan hasn’t. He’s been on a steady decline since then, to the point that Sony buried his name in the marketing for his latest film, After Earth. Maybe he’ll still turn it around — I hope he will — but it seems unlikely that a major studio would be willing to take a risk on M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable 2 at this point in time.

In the meantime, Shyamalan does have two other major projects coming this year. The Visit lands in theaters September 11, and his Fox series Wayward Pines premieres May 14.

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