M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero movie Unbreakable was released before the hype for comic book movies and superhero movies really took over Hollywood; and despite making a modest profit at the box office and receiving generally positive reviews, it never became more than a standalone film. This isn’t unusual for Shyamalan, since he’s never made a sequel to any of his movies; nowadays, though, people tend to associate superhero movies with the word “franchise.“
Released in 2000, Unbreakable is about a security guard called David Dunn (Bruce Willis) who survives a devastating train crash without sustaining a single injury, and realizes that he is practically invincible with the help of avid comic book fan Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson), who is at the opposite end of the spectrum due to having dangerously brittle bones. Eventually it’s revealed that Elijah is actually the mastermind behind the criminal acts that David has been fighting, and that he sees himself as David’s arch-villain.
One person who is particularly adamant that Unbreakable should not only get a sequel but be made into a whole trilogy is comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, who has now outlined in surprising detail his ideas for a pair of sequels to Unbreakable, titled Unbreakables and Broken, respectively. Speaking in a video interview with Screen Junkies (the channel behind the popular Honest Trailers series), Oswalt revealed just how carefully he has watched Unbreakable and how he thinks David’s story could progress.
Though unlikely, a sequel to Unbreakable isn’t completely out of the question. Bruce Willis barely seems to have aged in the 15 years since Unbreakable‘s release, and Samuel L. Jackson has obviously demonstrated that he’s not averse to starring in superhero movies. As recently as January 2015, Shyamalan was discussing the possibility of Unbreakable 2 in an interview with Collider.
“I do sometimes [hope to make a sequel]. I love those characters and I love that world. Of course, the whole world makes comic book movies now. At the time, it was completely novel. I remember when I made it, Disney was literally like, ‘Comic books?! There’s no market for comic books!’
“The beauty of the world of Unbreakable is that you’re playing it for reality. It should never feel like a comic book movie. It feels like a straight-up drama. It’s real. You’re confronting the possibility that comic book characters were based on people that were real. That’s the premise, so the tone has to be super grounded. It would be cool.”
Even if they never get made, though, Screen Junkies has created a hypothetical trailer for both sequels using clips from the original film alongside scenes of the actors in more recent releases. Who knows, perhaps the current popularity of comic book movies will compel a producer to take Oswalt up on the pitch.
Unbreakables will arrive in summer 2016 followed by Broken in summer 2017, but only in Patton Oswalt’s imagination.