Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, Split. You have been warned.
Back in 2000, M. Night Shyamalan released a little movie called Unbreakable. While inspired by superhero comics, the world chronicled in this movie was grounded and dark. It followed the character David Dunn and his discovery of his own “superpowers,” and Shyamalan often pitched it as the first act of a superhero origin story. Looking at ninety percent of the superhero origin stories out there, they can often be broken down into the three acts: discovery of power, arrival of villain and development of powers, and mastery of abilities and villain’s defeat. Unbreakable was meant to be just the first part of that. Back then, Shyamalan toyed with the idea of having a full film for each act, but as we saw in the later phase of his career, that didn’t exactly happen.
This past weekend, audiences got to witness the release of his latest horror/thriller Split. While considered to be a solid standalone film in and of itself, it ended with one huge reveal: that it takes place in the same universe as Unbreakable, and that James McAvoy’s Kevin is pretty much a supervillain in it, just like Samuel L. Jackson’s Mr. Glass was.
This brings a years-old question back to the forefront…is Shyamalan still planning on following through with a trilogy of sorts? Speaking at a press conference, the director seemed more than open to the idea (via Cinefilos).
“There has always been the idea of a trilogy and I’d do it on one of my films. I cannot tell you what movie it is but I’m working for some time on this thing. The idea of returning to write about a character which I have already written does not appeal to me as when you find out and write a new character, but the challenge that this possibility is my thing so I’m working on. I have every intention to conclude this story.”
So this brings another question up: does he consider Split to be the second entry in this trilogy, or is it just some offshoot that contributes to the world building? Based on the filmmaker’s next comments, it seems to imply we may have one more film in store for this world to conclude this “trilogy” of films.
“I’ve been working a lot to this idea, and if I can finish writing the third film, then I think I want to end this story. I want to make something unique and innovative, that’s what inspires me to do it and if I can finish this story will be something unique.”
It seems pretty clear that we have one more movie in store for us, but in case it isn’t spelled out enough, he got more explicit in an interview with Uproxx.
“I do intend on making a final Unbreakable movie and I’m intending on doing it next. It’s the final movie of these two movies put together.”
Sounds almost like this final film is a conclusion to this shared universe. If the first film followed the hero, and the second followed the villain, this next one will show the inevitable clash between the two. I, for one, am greatly looking forward to seeing it all come together.
What do you think of Shyamalan’s comments? Are you looking forward to seeing the next film set in this Unbreakable world? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Split is out in theaters now!