M. Night Shyamalan’s New Project Attracting Big Stars

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:15 pm,

Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan will soon see how his first attempt at jump-starting a potential blockbuster franchise, The Last Airbender, fares at the U.S. box office when it opens next week.

In the meantime, the filmmaker responsible for hits like The Sixth Sense and Signs is already shopping around a new original screenplay that he wrote – the details of which are being kept thoroughly under wraps for now – in the hopes of finding a potential distributor.

Shyamalan’s output over the past several years has been met with increasingly critical disdain and diminishing financial returns from moviegoers.  His last two films – the modern-day fairy tale Lady in the Water and the paranoia thriller The Happening – are held in such contempt that nowadays he’s more often than not referred to by his demeaning nickname, “M. Night Shamalamadingdong” – even by the likes of Quentin Tarantino, amusingly enough.

Despite all this, Shyamalan has already gotten three major stars – Bradley Cooper (The A-Team), Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man 2), and Bruce Willis (The Expendables) – loosely attached to his new project.  Their relative commitment to Shyamalan’s new script will surely aid the “master of twists” in his quest to convince studio heads to finance his new film. The script is so top-secret that Shyamalan supposedly has his minions standing over actors and studio execs as the read it, ready to snatch it back as soon as the last word is read. The CIA could learn a thing or two from M. Night.

Willis played the lead in Shyamalan’s breakout hit The Sixth Sense and his real-life comic book hero flick (and possibly my personal favorite of the director’s films), Unbreakable.  The action star almost took on the role that was eventually filled by Mel Gibson in Signs as well, as he very much enjoyed his previous experiences working with the director.  Here’s hoping that Willis’ newest joint effort with Shyamalan marks a return to the success of their previous collaborations.

Are Shyamalan’s best days behind him?  Well, I actually enjoyed his 2004 film The Village and I even felt okay about Lady in the Water – though all the complaints you’ve probably heard about that movie (hokey screenplay, Shyamalan’s over-inflated ego) are pretty much true.  We need not talk about the laughable failure of the B-movie/horror/thriller that was The Happening.

The Happening M. Night Shyamalans New Project Attracting Big Stars

The success or failure of The Last Airbender will surely impact Shyamalan’s immediate future and this new project of his.  There’s long been talk that the film (if a hit) could be the first in a trilogy of Airbender movies, each of which would be based off one of the original TV show’s three seasons.  If that were to happen, Shyamalan’s involvement would seem all but assured.

Anticipation for The Last Airbender is sky-high and its PG rating will only broaden its appeal as a family-friendly, albeit action-packed, FX extravaganza.  Whether Airbender will be a big enough hit to justify two sequels and prevent Shyamalan from moving forward with development of his top-secret new project is the question of the moment.  That is, of course, assuming that Shyamalan doesn’t find a distributor in the next few weeks.

What do you think?  Do you want to see Shyamalan go back to working on films of his own creation?  Would you rather see him work on a Last Airbender trilogy instead?  Let us know in the comments section below.

The Last Airbender will arrive in regular and 3D theaters in the U.S. on July 1st, 2010.

Source: THR

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  1. The village was pretty dull and boring but it was not a complete failure. The twist was still cool at the end. As far as the happening the movie sucked BIG TIME. I have never seen lady in the water but the rest of his flicks were great so I think that the guy deserves another shot

    • All of his movies were good, some missed the mark,sure,but that happens. The village got blasted for no good reason. For some reason people focused on the twist and not the whole story about human nature. which was presented 5 years later with blindness which got great reviews. The happening was a homage to 1950’s b movie nature run a mock type films. Lady in the water was one of the most original fantasy films i have seen in a long time. Now we have airbender, that is getting blasted for no good reason. I enjoyed this film. it reminded me of the type of movie i would have seen when i was 8 years old. The camera was under control and did not shake around when there was an action scene. Maybe thats what people want now a days. Airbender was a perfect family film. No sex,No blood,and no language. just like the movies i grew up with. Willow,star wars, etc.

      • I think that The Last Airbender was blasted because people were comparing the show to the movie, and the movie just didn’t live up to the show, so thus, blasting the movie. So that’s a plenty good reason to blast it, because the show was funny and goofy a good deal of the time, and the movie wasn’t.

  2. I don’t hate his movies. I feel like the story is almost right and I can see what he’s trying to do but it gets screwed up somewhere along the way. But yes I will admit The Happening was a horrible piece of crap but that’s the perfect example of yeah I see what you’re trying to do or say but you messed it up somewhere. Unbreakable is my favorite movie of his and I’m actually hoping that its a sequel to that movie.

  3. Why does he have to choose between original and Airbender? Just do both. I think doing non-original work will allow him more time think about the next original work instead of rushing the next original.

  4. Yeah I liked the Sixth Sense the first few times I saw it, but the rest of them that I have seen were blah. He has to deliver a bit more with the Airbender to show that he still has something. If it flops, I think he is circling the drain as the last few haven’t done very well or been reviewed well.

  5. i feel that he’s a better director than he is a writer.

    he had one good idea (Sixth Sense) and since then its all been kinda dumb story lines. but his direction is alright. it gives me hope for the new Airbender Movie.

    i just dont want him to write movies anymore. maybe he could come up with an idea but then give it to someone else to write.

  6. Am I the only one who actually enjoyed The Happening?

    • No, I enjoyed it.

      • I enjoyed it too, I would have to say it was his weakest so far.

        Unbreakable is my fav followed by signs,then the village. I liked the sixth sense but it seemed overhyped. airbender then lady and then happening

    • I enjoyed it.

    • I enjoyed it as well. I thought the acting was sub-par but the actual premise was good. The movie itself just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

  7. yea i think the happening gets a bad wrap, if it wasn’t for the redonkulous reasoning behind what was going on it would be pretty good, whalberg and deschanel are excellent and very likeable both in and out of character but you know… frickin nature?!?!?! really?

    • I liked the premise of “The Happening” but the execution was poor. M. Night should have watched “Picnic at Hanging Rock” to learn how to make nature scary. I’m sure wind in the trees was terrifying in his head, but on screen it fell flat.

  8. I think he should just finish the Airbender trilogy before movin on to something else. The kid playing Aang is already 2 years older than he was when he got hired, and seeing as how the script for the second flick isnt even written yet, we dont want to have a situation where the next time we see him he’s like six years older! finsih up the next two on a back to back schedule and then he can wow us with Unbreakable 2!

  9. He’s one of the best after Peter Jackson in my book. His work is absolutely genuine and very entertaining. That’s what I think.

  10. I agree with those that want to see an Unbreakable sequel. Perhaps the character portrayed by Willis finds out there are others similar to him.
    I relly enjoyed the film and hope MNS goes back to that particular concept..

    • anyhthing after unbreakable was just BAD, and im probably alone in sayitng that too, but whatever lol

  11. Seeing Willis having some involvment makes me only want one thing.

    Unbreakable II

  12. im one who will make a stand when it come to something i like,and i liked all of his films,and thought they where all original and kinda chilling. i would love to see him make sequels to signs,and unbreakable. i also would love to see him remake resident evil like the first game,and island of dr moreau,and maybe even the creature from the black lagoon,underworld the begining about the corvinus family,and even a steve altens book the loch into a film,or dino crisis. or even a splice sequel. i love the way he makes movies,as well as vincenzo natalie,and gilmoro del toro. they focus on makeing original but strong stories,strong acting,and powerful effects that are a blend of cgi and practical. i would love to see the directors i mention above do the films i mentioned above as well. and maybe they could remake the x-men films more dark and eery like grant morrisons run on new x-men with beak,glob herman,angel salvador,and the original x-men in it,and district -x about the mutant hunting detective bishop who hunt wanted mutants that normal cops cant get.and generation-x with chamber,and husk as the main heros.well i really hope to see these film i mentioned above get made and get ,made right. bring them on please………………………….

  13. I’m looking forward to an original story created by him. I’ve said once before his stories are fresh and unique.

  14. Meh, he’s a spent force who peaked with 6th Sense and has been boring and predictable ever since. As for The Village, the community is so reminiscent of the Amish that the twist becomes obvious within minutes. And for a retarded guy that Adrian Brody sure is smart!

  15. Get rid of paltrow! She makes every film she is in unbearable to watch with her acting!

  16. I thought Sixth Sense was overrated, and benefitted more from buzz and a sense of novelty than a great script.

    I really liked Unbreakable. But it convinced me that Shyamalan’s talents are better suited for novel, novella or short story writing than making movies.