M. Night Shyamalan interested in doing Unbreakable series


The new Golden Age of Television, or so it’s been called, has not only seen the rise of critically acclaimed programming, but it’s also responsible for the resurrection of careers and the opportunity to expand on established stories. M. Night Shyamalan might just get the opportunity for both.

Recently, IGN got a chance to talk to Shyamalan about his new FOX series, Wayward Pines, during which the writer/director expressed his regret, or maybe longing, to have completed a sequel to his 2000 film, Unbreakable. Shyamalan expressed his concern about the original film ending right when it reached the crux of the story and the core of the relationships. Considering the new television landscape, Shyamalan was asked if a TV series would be the best way for the story continue.

“As a way continue the story, yes. That would [interest me],” the director said. “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.”

Shyamalan elaborated on this idea based on the ways in which the industry has evolved since 2000.

“I think it’s interesting that content has changed,” the director mused. “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.”

He added, “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…”

Many would agree that Shyamalan’s work peaked some time ago. With the release and success of series like Daredevil, and the resurrection of Arrested Development, Community and the upcoming X-Files, maybe this is that special twist ending that the filmmaker is looking for in his career.

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