If you have yet to see Unbreakable or Split, I would advise you to turn away from this article now. Thank You.
If there’s one thing M. Night Shyamalan is known for, it’s his twists. M. Night has practically perfected the art of pulling the rug out from under an audience. You can mock a great deal of his filmography. With missteps like The Happening, The Last Airbender and Lady In The Water, there’s plenty to mock. However, there’s no denying that when he gets it right, he gets it perfect. Let’s be honest, even a great filmmaker can make bad movies. Of course, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Split. Some of his earlier films, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and The Visit, all had shocking twists. In addition, even The Village had some good twists and turns. However, Split was the movie that would prove to us if 2015’s The Visit was a fluke or not.
Split was not only a great film, it was M. Night’s best film since Unbreakable back in 2000, at least in my opinion. So what was the twist? Towards the end of Split, the main character Kevin (James McAvoy) goes through impossible changes in his body chemistry. We have no idea how he’s achieving this and we’re forced to suspend our disbelief quite a bit. However, as the climax reared its head, some familiar music began appearing. Music we hadn’t heard in a very long time. Then the final scene happened. Kevin was declared by the news media as a new “villain” called “The Horde”. A woman in a diner recalled that Kevin reminded her of that other guy in the wheelchair who was arrested 15 years ago.
David Dunn (Bruce Willis) appears at the end of the counter and says, “His name was Mr. Glass.”
Split & Unbreakable take place in the same universe.
As far as Shyamalan’s films go, Unbreakable seems to be the one that people have wanted a sequel to for years. And, why not? If any one of his films is ripe for a sequel, it’s Unbreakable. With superhero films becoming the norm in Hollywood right now, a follow-up to his sophomore film would be a breath of fresh air. If anything, Split certainly was. Earlier this week, Shyamalan revealed that Unbreakable 2 is indeed his next film. While speaking with Empire Magazine, he confirmed that he’s writing the outline for the film as we speak.
“I’m writing the outline now. It’s weird, it’s long, it’s the longest outline I’ve ever had. It has so many characters… I hope if Split is a success, I’ll have the opportunity to finish the story. I want to finish it, so this is the third one.”
Interestingly enough, the main character from Split, Kevin, was originally written into the first Unbreakable. Shyamalan had trouble jumbling the three main characters in one movie so he simply took Kevin out of it. So, it was interesting to see him go back to a character he hadn’t written for in so many years.
Reviews for Split were mostly positive, with the film earning $57.7 million so far. Therefore, it appears that M. Night will get his wish of an Unbreakable trilogy after all. Some may be worried about whether he can deliver a thriller as good as Unbreakable was. Given that Unbreakable is one of my favorite films, it would be a shame is Shyamalan went off the rails with the sequel. Especially now that everyone’s eating out of his hands again.
We’ll have to wait it out and see but after Split, I’m willing to bet that Unbreakable 2 will be something truly special.
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A graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, Adam is a Writer and Film Critic, looking to make his mark on the world. When he isn’t at the movies, writing for The Nerd Stash, playing Duck Hunt (respect the classics) or delivering pizzas to his neighbors, he is back at school earning his Masters Degree in Film Production.