For me, and for many others, M. Night Shyamalan hit something that really resonated in his work on “Unbreakable.” A play on the superhero genre, the movie tells the story of an Average Joe who develops a range of superhuman powers. It’s a quiet, contemplative tale, one that hits all of the usual beats — the initial discovery, learning to deal with these abilities, contending with an arch-nemesis — while standing apart from other entries in the genre.
Of all of Shyamalan’s films, this one is my clear favorite and one that many would love to see given a sequel treatment. MTV’s Rick Marshall spoke to the director at the press junket for “The Last Airbender,” out tomorrow, about the possibility, and it sounds like we’re all going to need to have some patience.
“I just have to think of the right story,” he said. “If I think of the right story — and by that I mean something that resonates with me right now, you know, at my age and where I am and what movie I’ve come off of — if I can do that, then I’ll get really excited and I’ll write a draft and I’ll go beg Disney for us to be able to make it.”
The big takeaway here is that there’s no story yet, nothing written or conceived for fans to pin their hopes to. Shyamalan is certainly still interested in the idea of returning to the world of “Unbreakable,” but it certainly sounds like he doesn’t have any solid ideas about it yet. Certainly not any he’s willing to share.
This echoes what we he told us in 2008 when the subject of an “Unbreakable” sequel was broached. “I want a story to pop into my head that is organic and expressive of who I am,” he said at the time. “You know, these are all kinds of journals of where I am emotionally, so it’s kind of hard. I’m kind of trying to go back to the journal that existed in 1999 for me. But I know me: As soon as I give up on it is when the idea will come to me.”
He also got to talking about it with us around this time last year. “I don’t know where all the parties are in the world. Sam [Jackson] is like ’Mr. Comic Book’ now. And Bruce [Willis], I don’t know what he’s up to. I don’t know where Disney’s at in their head and what kind of movies they’re up for making. But yeah, I love that movie.”
Clearly, Shyamalan is a fan of the original and interested on some level in taking the story further. When that will or could happen remains a mystery, but it certainly doesn’t seem like he’s thinking about it right now. Then again, if he’s starting to give up on it… as he said, that’s when the idea will come.