Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, M. Night Shyamalan was actually the hottest new filmmaker in Hollywood, and not just a running gag on this site where we intentionally come up with with the weirdest variations of his name (M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong and M. Night Lamb Shwarma were always my favourites). And in this fabled, mythical time of yore, M. Night Sharknado made Unbreakable, arguably the best non-comic book comic book movie of its day.
Skip forward a couple Happenings and After Earths and Shyamalan hasn’t produced anything even close to as good as that again. However, Shyamalan recently debuted his latest project, twisty suspense TV series Wayward Pines, to reasonably decent reviews, so maybe he has a brighter future on the small screen. And while talking to IGN about Wayward Pines, he revealed that he would definitely be up staying on the small screen to do a follow-up to Unbreakable.
“As a way continue the story, yes. That would [interest me]. I really love where we are. 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.”
An Unbreakable play? Whoa, slow down, Shaka Zulu! It’s that sort of crazy ambition that [PLOT TWIST!] had Mark Wahlberg fighting trees in The Happening. A straight-up TV series follow-up – granted you could coax Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson back into their movie roles again – could be damn cool though. Especially since TV has certainly transformed over the last few years, getting bigger and much more cinematic. And Shymalan thinks that this new environment is perfect for doing a sequel to a movie, as long as you planned it out properly and stuck to your guns.
“I think it’s interesting that content has changed. The form is now blurring, where we used to say it had to be two hours or episodic. Episodic meant that at each commercial break you had to do this or that. Those were the two forms, that’s it. Now, that’s already changed. The bizarreness of sequels in film is a little bit of what’s going on with the power of TV. Once you’ve created a world and struggles and characters that we now connect with, again, that’s where the story begins. So that’s why sequels have become so powerful. In the old days, it just meant you were gouging them for more money. But it’s almost like every movie now wants to live, and we want to stay with the characters we’ve come to love. Maybe it’s where we are post-9/11 — people have a lot of theories about this, by the way — why it’s harder to make original stuff. We’re scared to invest in something new. That’s why TV is exploding. But because of this interesting psychological need from the audience and the filmmaker, eight episodes of True Detective, like, that’s enough for me. It satiated me. I wouldn’t have wanted to see the film version of it, and to be honest I don’t want to see five seasons of it. But I felt it. It’s sticking to me.”
“As I’m watching House of Cards too I’m like, if they knew that it would end — four seasons and they’re out — it would be very organic,” he continued. “Like, I love what they did with Breaking Bad. Some go for four seasons and end, some go two seasons and end. I like the form is changing to the material — only as long as you can be honest. We know the shows that went on too long, that started to vamp. So they degraded from the beauty of what they did. There’s obviously a favorite show that went on too long, and if it had been half as many seasons, we might consider it a classic of storytelling. But because they forced it into this thing…”
Personally, I actually think that there is indeed a lot of material that could be mined for an Unbreakable sequel, so I actually hope that something comes of this. Especially since it will potentially rescue Bruce Willis from the “Nicolas Cage – say yes to any drivel that crosses my desk” stage of his career that he currently finds him in. Hell, M. Knight Rider wouldn’t even had to do too much brainstorming, as Patton Oswalt has already come up with the perfect plot outlines for any sequels.
Last Updated: June 1, 2015