Even if you're still a fan of M. Night Shyamalan's body of work, there are few who would argue with the claim that the filmmaker's greatest hits occurred early on with "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable." Films like "The Village" and "Lady in the Water" just haven't been met with the same critical acclaim. We could argue all day long as to why that is, but there's one ingredient that both "Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" had that was completely absent from Shyamalan's later films: Bruce Willis.
Now, it appears that Shyamalan is pulling some old tricks out of his hat. The director, whose latest film "The Last Airbender" is barely more than a week away from release, is reportedly re-teaming with Willis for a top secret new project that also calls upon the assistance of actors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Bradley Cooper.
Of course, high caliber talent isn't necessarily a surefire marker of success, particularly in Shyamalan's case. After all, Paul Giamatti was the lead in "Lady in the Water" while Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel took the main roles in "The Happening," and both movies tanked in critical circles. Even if Willis, Paltrow and Cooper are loosely aboard for Shyamalan's latest, does that indicate an instant return to the director's glory days? Again, not necessarily. But I think it's a great first step.
You also have to wonder about the secrecy of the project — according to Heat Vision, the presence of a Shyamalan assistant was required as high level studio executives read the screenplay. Assuming that Shyamalan's latest is based on completely original material, why would the filmmaker need to go to such lengths to protect its contents? I understand the need for secrecy, but wouldn't this be a little bit much for a completely unheard of project?
Maybe it isn't completely unheard of. Perhaps Shyamalan is feeling the franchise fever after working on "The Last Airbender," and he's got his mitts on something else. Maybe, just maybe, this is the long fabled "Unbreakable" sequel that both Willis and Shyamalan have confessed their interest in over the past several months. If that's the case, maybe Cooper and Paltrow are on board as other super-powered individuals who come into David Dunn's unbreakable little world. I'll wait for word of Samuel L. Jackson's involvement before jumping to any conclusions, but hey, a nerd can dream, can't he?
Really, there are a lot of possibilities regarding Shyamalan's top secret project. Here's what we do know: a script is going around Tinsel Town as we speak, with Willis, Paltrow and Cooper loosely attached to star. No matter what the subject matter is, I think we can all agree that this very, very basic premise is promising enough on its own.
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