For the third week on the trot, Split held its place at the tip-top of the U.S. box office. A $14.15 million haul over Super Bowl weekend was enough to see off competition from F. Javier Gutiérrez’s Rings, and take the film’s worldwide total to a whopping $142 million. Not bad for a psychological thriller that cost an estimated $9 million to make.
But then again, Split isn’t your typical movie, and M. Night Shyamalan’s early plans for a sequel are a far cry from the age-old process of rinsing and repeating. As of February 4th, the prolific writer-director is in possession of an 11-page treatment for his Split sequel, and during a recent episode of Josh Horowitz’s HappySadConfused podcast – as relayed by Collider – Shyamalan touched base on his vision for the conclusive chapter.
It almost goes without saying at this point, but if you’ve yet to see Split, bookmark this page and return at a later date. M. Night Shyamalan delves deep into spoiler territory and talks at length about the film’s big twist – such is the Shyamalan way. You’ve been warned!
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“All I can say is this: If Unbreakable was about a guy who is the only person who survives a train wreck, everyone dies and he doesn’t have a scratch on him. How is that possible? That’s a high concept, really cool story. And then this one is three girls get abducted by a person that has this disorder that he believes he’s many people, and all of the different personalities are saying there’s another personality coming to get them, it’s called The Beast. That in and of itself is a really cool thing. This third movie needs to have its own idea. The high concept of that final movie can’t be, ‘It’s the final Unbreakable.’ There has to be something about that that makes it its own movie… That’s when I’ll be happiest, is when it’s its own movie. In a way it could be watched by itself.”
When quizzed about Bruce Willis’ surprise appearance as David Dunn, M. Night Shyamalan reflected on the ways in which he tied the two stories together. What’s more, it seems Split originally contained stronger connections to Unbreakable, but Shyamalan ultimately decided to nix them during the editing process.
“There was another version of the credit sequence which was comic book, which was graphic images of The Beast and then David Dunn and then Elijah and then them all mixing together. When I saw it done I was like, ‘This is a fucking home run,’ and then when I put it on the movie it didn’t work… It’s one thing to say, ‘You saw an origin story,’ but to go into other characters…David Dunn is reacting to the news of The Horde. End of story. If you keep going it starts to undermine the movie you just saw.”
So, there you have it; Split 2 (Unbreakable 3?) is officially M. Night Shyamalan’s next movie. The filmmaker has mapped out tentative plans to “finish the story,” but are you excited to see what Shyamalan has in store for his planned crossover movie? Sound off below and let us know!