M. Night Shyamalan Developing TV Pilot for Syfy

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 10:53 am,

M. Night Shyamalan hasn’t had much luck on the silver screen lately. The director may be able to get back on track with his next film, After Earth, a post-apocalyptic story starring the father-son duo of Will and Jaden Smith. ( The official synopsis for After Earth was revealed last month.) The star power of the Smiths should draw in the audiences, despite the public’s feelings on Shyamalan.

In the meantime, Shyamalan is looking to the small screen, and will possibly direct a new television project for Syfy, titled Proof. Marti Noxon – executive producer of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – is reportedly attached as a producer. Shyamalan and Noxon will be co-writing the project as well.

Proof is about a man who, after losing his parents in an accident, offers a reward to anyone who has  proof of life after death. He also happens to be the son of a billionaire tech genius, so that probably helps. Life after death isn’t entirely new territory to Shyamalan, whose most successful film – both critically and financially – was The Sixth Sense. As of late, the filmmaker has seen his box office returns (and reputation) steadily diminish.

In 2010, The Last Airbender received negative reviews in the U.S. and won five Razzie Awards - Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3D. His previous movies The Happening and Lady in the Water didn’t fare much better. In fact, the only reasonably successful project (critically and in the court of public opinion) that Shyamalan has put out in recent years is the horror film Devil, which he only wrote the story for (as opposed to writing the screenplay or directing).

after earth synopsis M. Night Shyamalan Developing TV Pilot for Syfy

Jayden Smith in ‘After Earth’

It’s difficult to come back from the kind of critical flops Shyamalan has had recently, but After Earth could be a step in the right direction – the Smiths are sure to bring emotional and touching performances, and post-apocalyptic movies are huge right now. Audiences everywhere loved what Shyamalan was able to do with The Sixth Sense (which was so spooky, my parents wouldn’t let me watch it – I had to see it at a friend’s house), and it will be interesting to see if he brings any of that to the table for this TV endeavor.

We’ll keep you updated on the status of Proof as more information comes in.

Source: THR


TAGS: Proof
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. oh how the mighty have fallen .. dude went form signs to making stuff for syfy .. good luck with that .

  2. I’m not sure if the writer of this article is trying to provoke an angry response or maybe they’re just genuinely incapable of using the Internet, but both The Happening and The Last Airbender grossed over a $100 million each. In what alternate universe does making that kind of profit constitute a “flop”. You can check the numbers if you don’t believe me, but a “flop” is a film that loses money. Shyamalan’s collective gross since The Sixth Sense is now close to $2 billion, not even taking into account DVD sales. Seriously Nicole, at least do your research if you expect anyone to take this gibberish seriously.

    • Lets not get too carried away with those apparent profits. The one thing not accounted for was marketing costs that usually run between 50-100 mil all by themselves (I know it sounds outrageous but it’s true)

      That means, while both did eventually turn a profit they only barely did so. That coupled with being almost universally panned really sends a negative message to the studio = flop.

      • The Last Airbender had a big opening weekend, but then dropped off a cliff when everyone realized how badly it sucked. The movie did better overseas then in the U.S. (which is weirdly typical for Shyamalan’s movies) but that doesn’t mean it was a big hit. Mongoose makes a good point too. You can’t discount the massive marketing costs that go into these movies too.

        If you’re interested in the economics of this stuff, I recommend checking out the firm SNL Kagan, which uses an interesting model called the Kagan Profitability Index.

        The point is – M. Night Shyamalan was once a Hollywood golden boy and he has lost that reputation. After Earth could be a step in the right direction, as could this TV show.

        • For more information on the high cost of movie marketing, here’s an interesting excerpt from a 2010 Reuters article:

          “Looked at another way, for every dollar spent on producing a major film, the studios have been spending 51 cents-58 cents to release and market it in the United States and Canada. Assuming distributors get an average of 55 percent of domestic ticket sales, the average 2009 release had to gross $186 million to recoup production and domestic-releasing costs — an unrealistic goal for all but a handful of titles — which is where the international brand-building challenge kicks in.”

    • Sorry, Jason. Definitely not trying to provoke an angry response. (And my internet capabilities are certainly questionable. My husband calls me “grandma” all the time when it comes to technology.) But when writing the article, I factored in not only the movies’ budgets, but also – in the case of The Last Airbender specifically – insanely high marketing costs.

      I’m a Shyamalan fan (though I didn’t care for Signs, and missed The Last Airbender), and would love to see this new movie turn things around for him, critically.


      • Crap. Jacob. Sorry again, read Jason’s comment last.

      • You’re not missing anything with Airbender. And if you’ve seen the rest, I can’t believe you didn’t hate The Village.

        Atrocious film.

        • You know, I didn’t actually mind The Village. The ending didn’t really impress me, but I enjoyed it overall.


    • $150mil budget
      $50-100mil marketing
      a bunch of money paid to the theatres to play the damn movie (usually almost one-third to half the gross)

      All this usually means that a film needs to make a little more than two times their budget to make a profit.

      Even if we give the movie the best case scenario from that:
      $150mil (budget) x 2 = $300mil
      Worldwide gross = $319mil

      So best case scenario, Airbender made peanuts for profit at $19mil. But more realistically, it was probably even less or worse, a loss.

      • *in the case of many films, it amounts to a value that is almost one-third to half the gross of the film.

    • @Jacob.

      I went in and switched “box office” to “critical.” Interested to hear your grand defense now.

      • It’s not a defence Kofi so spare me the snark. I just think if you want to go at a director (or anyone) from the perspective that their work is without merit then you better back it up with some serious journalistic integrity. I’m not saying you need to be Jonathan Rosenbaum or somethin’, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a bit of serious research to go with the standard “it sucks” rhetoric.

        The combined budget for The Last Airbender (marketing and production costs) was $280 million. The film made close to $320 million, so that’s a close profit of near $40 million on top of paying off its expenses. It’s not Harry Potter profit, but it’s still money in the bank.

        I thought The Last Airbender was quite poor, but I still don’t like this attitude that most bloggers think they’re free to trash pretty much anyone or anything with the most disrespectful language (because hey, it’s the internet, professional objectivity be damned!), but then they (and their cronies) get all defensive when someone tells them that their writing isn’t very good. Why are mediocre film-makers fair game but mediocre film critics are somehow above reproach?

        • So yeah, on reflection, I was dead wrong with the previous “over $100 million” crack. Hypocrite much! Let’s call it a well-meaning exaggeration and save face. Guess I should’ve done my research earlier. Apologies on that one.

        • That $40M is not the movie’s profit. Distributors get about half of the Box Office receipts of a movie. Therefore, the studio’s take in this case would be about $160M from this movie, give or take. So, far from it being profitable, the loss was about $120M. Maybe less, if Paramount had some really, really good distribution deals. But profit? Not unless distributors suddenly decided to work as charities.

        • Dude, read my comment, they have to pay a bunch of money to theatres too to play the damn film. The profit for Airbender is either in the red or very near zero.

          “Why are mediocre film-makers fair game but mediocre film critics are somehow above reproach?”

          Because reviews are for free, movie tickets are not.

  3. Pass.

  4. This is right where he belongs.

  5. This guy gets a lot of hate for no reason. If it wasn’t for the brain trust over at robot chicken would anyone even have any gripes about his plots?

    People were loving six sense and unbreakable but then after that stupid RC sketch all this hate came out starting with the village and so on.

    • I loved Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs…but nothing after that.

    • The guy has made nothing but utter s*** for the past 10 years. Airbender was the last straw.

      And the Robot Chicken excuse that you’re giving him is a p*** poor excuse. Very few people even know what Robot Chicken is, let alone watch it. Just because a few people in your friend circle are familiar with it doesn’t mean everybody else is too. So it’s impossible for even a-tenth of the people that hate him to have been influenced by it.

      The hate is well-deserved.

      • But why is the “hate” well deserved? He makes his movies just like anybody else. The fact that his movies are less popular doesn’t deny them their existence (or his freedom to express himself), unless you think the goal of any movie is to appeal to the largest audience.

        It’s your choice as a viewer to watch his films or to ignore them, depending on whatever you want to see. It’s not an obligation or something you’re being coerced into so why make such a big deal about it? The day Shyamalan comes to your house, ties you to a chair and forces you to watch The Happening at gun-point then you’re really just “hating” someone for expressing themselves creatively, which strikes me as rather childish.

        It just seems like a waste of time to be so negative about someone who doesn’t actually owe you anything in return. There’s a world of movies at our fingertips and people would rather “hate” someone for making “bad” movies than take a proactive stance and actually support something else that might deserve the positive attention.

        • Shyamalan, is that you?

          • Haha that was awesome. Laughed so hard. And to Jacob’s argument of freedom of expression. I’m pretty sure “directors” like Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer make that argument pretty moot.

        • And your argument is ludicrous. Just because ‘he made a film’ doesn’t get him a free pass. I shelled out money to watch his POS films, and the freedom of speech, along with the very essence of the producer-consumer relationship gives me the right to complain if I feel cheated out of my money by an inferior product.

          His movies suck big, fat, smelly, juicy, donkey b***s. I have the right to b**** about it, and I will. You. Deal with it.

    • Most people who don’t care for his movies probably came to that conclusion after viewing them. I doubt Robot Chicken has that much to do with it, but I could be wrong.

  6. Signs was laughable.

    Aliens that are killed by water are taking humans who consist of 80% water not the least of which there is moisture in the atmosphere and they’re apparently trapsing around farmers fields looking in windows for some unexplained reason yet are capable of interstellar travel. The aliens also don’t understand how doors work either but fly in invisible space ships.

    M. Night Shammalammabingbong good luck with tv. Just don’t make Lady in the Water Part 2.

    • Signs was an enjoyable movie, along with Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Concerning the water aspect in Signs, you are overthinking it, as you do not know in what density/quantity water was harmful to the aliens, nor do you know what they were doing with the humans. Now having defended these three movies, his other movies were, indeed, terrible.

      • A glass of water acted like acid to the alien. Therefore any moisture in the atmosphere would cause them to feel constant irritation.

        • If it rained then it would have been invasion over……

          • Would have been instantly screwed here in the UK. lol!!

    • My thoughts exactly. Although I’d like it if he’d stay away from all forms of entertainment.

  7. It’s easy to pick apart movies and their plot holes, which I only really do if I didn’t enjoy them, the sixth sense and signs were great, but I agree everything else has missed the mark soooooo badly!

    It’s not easy for a director to continue producing quality movies that people love, Spielberg doesn’t always get it right either, however Shayalaman just seems to have been making SyFy quality movies for years anyway, let him get on with it, I’d personall love to see his version of Titanic 3 – The iceburg takes Manhattan lol

  8. I hope he can bring some gravitas to Sharktopus.

    • f*** that this guy is ledged he’d proabally eat his shorts before he went to work on sharktopus,or titanic 3 for that matter

  9. Transmorphers 4 – The Last Sign Bender in the Water

  10. Well, a couple of critical flops is enough to make people suspicious of Shyamalan. It’s up to him to turn the tide. Hopefully, he will be successful with After Earth and this.

    By the way, it was widely reported that The Last Airbender’s marketing costs came to $130M on top of the production cost of $150M.


    $319M WW gross for a movie that cost $280M to make and market, minus the distributor fees… not anywhere near being a commercial success.

  11. The guy’s been messing up too much IMO.
    He has made a few good movies so I’m not gonna bash him like some of these other commentors, but I certainly don’t feel sorry for him either.
    Creators/directors/filmmakers need to step it up if they want to stay ahead – Shymalan didn’t do that and now he’s making a pilot for syfy – them’s the brakes (is that the right expression?).

    I wish the guy luck, but at this point I’m pretty tired of his work…