M. Night Shyamalan‘s output isn’t all beloved, but some of his most fan favorite films include his “Eastrail 177” trilogy – the loose series of superhero-themed movies that encompasses 2000’s Unbreakable, 2017’s Split and 2019’s Glass. Seeing as the director is clearly a fan of comic books, then, has he ever considered teaming up with Marvel Studios to make something within the MCU?
The answer, it turns out, is yes. Twice, in fact. Shyamalan spoke to Phawker and was asked this very question. The filmmaker admitted that he’d met with the studio a few times, with his discussions with the Marvel team being pleasant and positive.
“We’ve talked a couple of times. All good. I love what they do. They’re amazing.”
Shyamalan then went on to chat about his particular passion for 2008’s Iron Man, saying:
“The first Iron Man was excellent. Excellent. I remember meeting [director Jon Favreau] at a party once and I told him, you know, I went over to him specifically, I just said, ‘I thought you did something really, really deft, this grounded humor and the way Robert [Downey Jr.] really brought this flavor.’ Of course that became the Marvel brand, that type of humor. But at that time when I saw it, I was super taken because it was really super grounded. Even to this day, I still find it the most grounded of the MCU.”
The director’s fans might be wondering if these “good” talks could lead to him helming a movie for Marvel later down the line, but Shyamalan’s previous comments on the idea of him working with Marvel and DC seem to rule out that idea. He’s admitted that he has a “strong [filmmaking] accent” and he wasn’t sure whether his style would be “appropriate” for a mainstream superhero blockbuster.
He may be right about that, too. Some of his weakest efforts have come from his attempt to work within the system, such as his disastrous The Last Airbender and After Earth with Will Smith. In recent years, the director’s had a real return to form, though, thanks to going back to smaller-scale thrillers that he helps finance himself. So maybe whatever project he chooses next should follow along the same path. And besides, at least we’ve still got M. Night Shyamalan‘s own take on the superhero genre to enjoy even if he doesn’t end up doing an MCU movie.