To promote the pre-order of his first novel, Abomination, screenwriter Gary Whitta (Book of Eli, After Earth) sat down with us for an extensive interview spanning his career thus far. Over the course of this week we will be posting the parts of this interview broken up into digestible thematic bites — we’re calling it “/Film’s Week Of Whitta”.
If you missed it, Gary Whitta talked about Star Wars on Monday. On Tuesday he talked about his journey from video game journalist to screenwriter and the post-apocalyptic Oliver Twist script that got him into the business. Today we return with the third installment, which focuses on Whitta talking about his biggest produced film projects, Book of Eli and After Earth, as well as his upcoming novel Abomination. Read the next installment of the Gary Whitta interview after the jump.
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A lot of Airbender fans were hoping to see a new trailer for M Night Shymalan‘s live-action adaptation of the American-anime The Last Airbender this Christmas, but it isn’t going to happen after all. Producer Frank Marshall mentioned on Twitter that “Not enough” visual effects shots from ILM are finished, which means that the next trailer for Last Airbender will have to wait. So when can we expect a new trailer? Marshall says February. If so, my best guess is that we’ll be seeing the first full length trailer on February 12th, attached to Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Admittedly, the above headline could be published in The Onion, no prob. It’s been nearly eight years since the release of Unbreakable, and the possibility of a sequel, let alone the planned trilogy, seems to diminish with time, even as superhero films enter the subversive, contemplative-mythos stage that makes M. Night Shyamalan‘s best film so ahead of the curve and a dark horse genre classic.
In June, Shyamalan cited the film’s marketing—which exploited the “shocking twist” angle and neglected the comic book plot—along with the middling reviews that followed as the watershed moment when perceptions of his M.O. in Hollywood and with audiences soured. Though the film is still seen as a financial disappointment, it grossed $250 million worldwide, not to mention DVD sales. And if you read between the lines, I think he sees catharsis in making a widely-regarded successful sequel to Unbreakable. Shyamalan’s passion for the film, characters, and the universe he created won’t go away (and neither has its fans’, which includes us at Slashfilm). And in my mind, there’s the guy who made this film, and another who made everything else. He tells Splashpage…
“I genuinely just asked this question the other day — should I make Unbreakable 2? I do love the [comic book movie] genre, I just wanna make sure that I’m able to express who I am,” explained Shyamalan. “I don’t want to get so lost in the subject that I have to neuter everything that’s me in it, so maybe Unbreakable is the comic book thing I should do — I keep coming back to that.”
Your Samuel L. Jackson-instincts should inform that the actor would be game to reprise Mr. Glass, and he is. And Bruce Willis has stated his love of the film in the past and disappointment with critics’ lazy checklist with The Sixth Sense. Though inherent, the original film never reveals the full powers of Willis’s protagonist, David Dunn, meanwhile Mr. Glass’s descent into evil has many sinister miles left in the tank. It will take more than wistful soundbites and warm spirits to bring Unbreakable 2 to fruition, not to mention the tentative title, but if Hellboy—financially, an apt comparison; in terms of marquee value and quality, not so much—can warrant a sequel, I don’t think Shyamalan’s is a pipe dream. If he truly wants it. Then again, if the sequel rights are parked at Disney…umm, good luck?
Discuss: Do you think Unbreakable 2 will ever happen? Why or why not?