M. Night Shyamalan Pitches 'Unbreakable' TV Show, Still Defending 'The Last Airbender'

Say what you will about M. Night Shyamalan, but his films do get people talking. Five years after the much-reviled The Last Airbender and 15 years after the much-loved Unbreakable, he's still fielding questions about both.

While on the press tour for his latest endeavor, the actually pretty well-reviewed Wayward Pines, Shyamalan offered his latest defense of The Last Airbender, and floated the idea of an Unbreakable TV show sequel. Read the M Night Shyamalan Last Airbender and Unbreakable comments after the jump. 

M Night Shyamalan directing The Last Airbender

M Night Still Defending The Last Airbender

Speaking to IGN, Shyamalan admitted he's still surprised by the hatred heaped upon The Last Airbender:

It's really weird because on the show the average age was, like, nine years old. My child was nine-years-old. So you could make it one of two ways. You could make it for that same audience, which is what I did — for nine and 10-year-olds — or you could do the Transformers version and have Megan Fox. I didn't do that. That would have felt like, 'Well, I'm going to make a movie about a kids show that my 10-year-old is watching and not make it for her. I make it for my guy friends.' That felt like a betrayal of the innocence of the piece.

In retrospect, is it too young to go out — it's like what your intention is versus what they want it to be. Clearly, 10-year-olds — I go out and 10-year-olds are like, 'That's my favorite show! I love that movie!' Parents come up to me and go, 'They've watched The Last Airbender 74 times!' Those kids, it's for them. It was for them, to talk about mysticism and Eastern philosophies through a 10-year-old's vernacular.

As far as defenses go, "it's for kids" is not a very strong one. For one thing, it brings to mind George Lucas' defense of Jar Jar Binks, and that's never a good thing. Besides, as Shyamalan himself points out, Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon on which his film was based) is also aimed at kids. And it has lots of grown-up fans.

Moreover, his latest argument doesn't really jibe with his other theories about all that Last Airbender hate. Years ago, he suggested his "European sensibility" might have turned off U.S. critics, and insisted that the Japanese think he's a "genius."

unbreakable tv show

M Night Pitching Unbreakable TV Show Sequel

Fortunately for Shyamalan, it seems he's having better luck these days on television. His new Fox show Wayward Pines is pretty well liked, and it's even doing decently in the ratings. Maybe that's why he digs the idea of making an Unbreakable sequel on the small screen. He told IGN:

Could you do a six-episode Unbreakable series on Netflix or HBO? Yeah! That's cool. I even had an idea of doing a story that goes in one form, and a second part that's in another form, and a third one's in a different form. You never do the same form. It would be like, movie, then, let's say, cable, to TV, whatever, and then a play; it goes straight online, and it finishes like that. It's in four different forms, and it never goes back to the old one. It could be kind of cool.

Moving Unbreakable to television is a potentially interesting idea, and not an unprecedented one. The 2015-2016 network slate includes sequels to movies like Minority Report (on Fox) and Limitless (on CBS). The stuff about then turning it into a play, though? That would be new.