We need to talk about Kevin – and no, we’re not referring to Ezra Miller’s unhinged sociopath who featured in Lynne Ramsay’s 2011 thriller. Instead, we direct your attention to a new and very different Kevin, one who harbors a rare and frankly terrifying identity disorder that sees him display not one or two personalities, but a whopping 23. Welcome to Split, the all-new psychological drama written and directed by the inimitable M. Night Shyamalan.
For a director famed for spooking audiences with near-relentless thrills and plot twists, Split is a much more character-driven affair, placing a laser focus on James McAvoy’s damaged lead as he struggles to wrangle this most peculiar disorder under control. So far, almost all of the personalities he’s displayed have been fairly benign, if eccentric, but as Shyamalan’s thriller unfolds, McAvoy’s multi-faceted character ventures into uncharted territory, psychologically speaking, tapping into a persona he refers to as “The Beast.”
Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson are among those who feel the wrath of Kevin’s animosity, and though we fully expect one final teaser to drop before January, a new one-sheet has arrived today to tease James McAvoy’s tour-de-force in chilling fashion.
Pitched as a thematic sequel to Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, Split is expected to open in theaters on January 20.
While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.