Earlier this year, Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter asserted that television is a less restrictive (and, thus, more rewarding) medium to work in nowadays than the studio system. Clearly, he’s not the only filmmaker who feels that way, seeing how storytellers like Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, the Wachowski siblings, and M. Night Shyamalan are all developing programs for the small screen now.
Shyamalan and Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mad Men) have been putting together a series titled Proof for SyFy over the past few months. However, it turns out the Sixth Sense director has also been collaborating with screenwriter John Glenn (Eagle Eye) on a show called Lost Horizon, which has landed at NBC with a put pilot commitment.
Lost Horizon, like Proof, is said to focus on recurring themes in Shyamalan’s oeuvre, such as obsession with the past and the mysterious ways of the universe (re: the unknown). Deadline says the series takes place in a small fishing village on the East Coast and has been likened to a contemporary version of Moby Dick. Beyond that, though, details on the show are being kept firmly under wraps.
THR announced earlier this week that director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) – who is also working on the Natalie Portman western Jane Got a Gun – is working on Mobius, a “psychological action thriller set in deep space” that also begs comparison to Herman Melville’s 1851 literary masterpiece. However, whereas that show sounds like a sci-fi variation on Moby Dick, the connection between that novel and Lost Horizons remains less apparent (for the time being).
These past six years have been rough for Shyamalan, who has become a punching bag for many critics and moviegoers, following the release of titles like Lady in the Water, The Happening, and Last Airbender. It seems as though he’s taken some of the criticism to heart, as evidenced by a newfound willingness to collaborate with others on his projects, rather than working alone as writer, director, and producer. That includes Shyamalan’s upcoming futuristic father-son drama After Earth, as well as the aforementioned television shows.
Shyamalan is attached to direct the pilot for Lost Horizons, with Glenn scripting the episode. The latter is also working on a modern-day re-imaginging of the History Channel’s Emmy-winning Hatfields & McCoys TV mini-series for NBC, with Charlize Theron as co-executive producer. We will keep you updated on the status of Shyamalan and Glenn’s television program as more information is released.