We’re going to go ahead and assume that at this point, you’ve seen Split. And even if you haven’t, you’ve no doubt heard all about how it’s actually a lead-in for the long-awaited Unbreakable 2. That’s because Bruce Willis makes a surprise cameo at the end as David Dunn, the main character from one of M. Night Shyamalan’s most celebrated films, Unbreakable. It was a twist that no one saw coming but now it’s all people can talk about, and with good reason.
The director has already confirmed that he is indeed pushing ahead with Unbreakable 2 and is currently hard at work on it. But one has to wonder: Split was released by Universal, while Touchstone Pictures (owned by Disney) hold the rights to Unbreakable, so just how did M. Night get around all the red tape and receive permission to use Dunn in his film? Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t too difficult.
As The Wall Street Journal explains, Shyamalan has a good relationship with both Disney’s President of Production, Sean Bailey, and Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Suffice it to say, it didn’t take too much begging to get them to do him a favor for free.
“Mr. Shyamalan had a long relationship with Mr. Bailey and his boss, Disney studios Chairman Alan Horn,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “The director described himself as “naively optimistic” about the request but his efforts panned out. Disney allowed Universal to use Mr. Willis’s character free, as a sign of good faith. The likelihood of it being a hugely valuable favor seemed low. “Split” was made by Blumhouse, a production company known for low-budget horror movies that don’t need to do blockbuster business to turn a profit.”
As we all know, Split turned out to be tremendously successful for Blumhouse (who have a 10-year first-look deal with Universal) and now, Disney wants in on the action. Shyamalan had promised Bailey that if he were to make anymore films with Willis’ character, he would include the studio and according to sources, they’re now looking to partner with Universal for Unbreakable 2 and share in the profits.
We know that the director is still writing the sequel, and whether it’ll be called Split 2 or Unbreakable 2, or something else entirely is up for debate. The only thing that’s for certain is that it now seems like the two studios will be collaborating on the project, one that will – hopefully – continue the impressive comeback that M. Night Shyamalan’s currently experiencing.
As Unbreakable 2 (that’s the title we’re going with for now) continues to develop, we’ll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, though, tell us, what are you hoping to see in the director’s upcoming sequel? Sound off with your thoughts in the usual place!