Fox Greenlights M. Night Shyamalan’s Series Wayward Pines


There was a time when the name M. Night Shyamalan was a byword for twisty-turny thrillers and high production values. That time was 1999 and the movie that got him there was The Sixth Sense. Since then Shyamalan’s cred has sunk, slowly but surely, one stupid twist after another, until the career nadir of The Last Airbender, which was just awful in every conceivable way. But Shyamalan hopes to regain some credibility and Fox apparently trusts him to do it by greenlighting the event series Wayward Pines, to star Matt Dillon.

Wayward Pines is adapted from Blake Crouch’s novel Pines and concerns a Secret Service agent (Dillon) who is searching for two missing agents in the ‘bucolic’ town of Wayward Pines, ID. All is not as it seems – naturally – and presumably weird stuff begins to happen. Does this sound like Twin Peaks to anyone else? No? Alrighty.

It sounds very much in keeping with Shyamalan’s oeuvre. There will undoubtedly be twists and turns a-plenty. Given that this is a series and not a film, perhaps it will give Shyamalan room to develop his characters and his twists, which was one of the great problems of his later films.

Shyamalan has not totally abandoned cinema of course, what with After Earth coming out later this month. But none of the After Earth trailers have featured his name, focusing more on the relationship between Will and Jaden Smith’s characters. This somehow does not surprise me.

Will Wayward Pines restore some of Shyamalan’s thriller cred? I sort of hope so. I hate to think that The Sixth Sense was a total fluke, but the guy has not proven himself terribly capable since then. Like most of the movie-going public, I’m through with giving Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt. Still, we shall see.

Wayward Pines will premiere at the start of the 2014 season.