The career of M. Night Shyamalan has been marked with peaks and valleys, but regardless of the wildly inconsistent quality that’s plagued his output over the last two decades, you can’t fault the filmmaker for sticking to his guns and retaining complete creative autonomy over all of his movies.
Shyamalan rocketed into the mainstream after his feature debut The Sixth Sense become one of the biggest hits of 1999, raking in over $672 million at the box office and landing six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Cinema’s latest wunderkind followed it up with acclaimed superhero subversion Unbreakable and warmly received sci-fi Signs, before the wheels started to fall off a little bit.
His work became prone to self-indulgence, and after suffering several critical and commercial duds that saw him come perilously close to descending into self-parody, his standing in the industry plummeted. Low budget horror The Visit and psychological thriller Split were returns to form, only for secret Unbreakable sequel Glass to go full Shyamalan once again.
In a recent interview, the 50 year-old admitted that he’s spoken to both Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios about potentially tackling a big budget comic book movie in the future, but hasn’t yet found a property that he’d be interested in adapting.
“I’ve had many conversations over the years about many of the superheroes with many of the studios that own them, and how would wanna approach it. And it’s one of those things that I think this my style, if there was ever a situation I mean, I said, ‘I did it’. I made my comic book movie the way I wanted to make my comic book movie, but the minimalism, the insinuating, the not using CGI all of that stuff is a very different language. So, whenever we’ve had those conversations in the past about XYZ person, it’s your character or franchise. I get so nervous about like, ‘Hey, this is not what you would want me to do make it very quiet and tiny and introspective.’.”
M. Night Shyamalan would obviously want a high level of creative control if this were to happen, something he’d be very unlikely to get from either Marvel or DC, while the two entries in his filmography that cost over $100 million to produce are nothing short of awful, with The Last Airbender and After Earth hardly the calling cards that showed he was the right person to be handed the reins of an effects-heavy superhero franchise. Still, stranger things have happened and we wouldn’t be terribly surprised to one day see the director in charge of a comic book movie.