The name M. Night Shyamalan inspires dread in the hearts of moviegoers nowadays (for all the wrong reasons), but his career famously got off to a rousing start. Obviously, The Sixth Sense is seen as his crowning achievement, but his second directorial effort, Unbreakable, has more than its fair share of admirers who enjoyed its real-world take on comic book lore and suspenseful atmosphere.
The prospect of Unbreakable 2 has been raised by Shyamalan multiple times over the years since then. Comedian Patton Oswalt has even outlined his idea for a full trilogy – and one has to admit that the world Shyamalan built is rich enough to warrant more projects.
While speaking with IGN, Shyamalan stated that he would be up for an Unbreakable revival via a limited series run on a platform like Netflix or HBO:
“As a way continue the story, yes. That would [interest me]. I really love where we are. Could you do a six-episode ‘Unbreakable’ series on Netflix or HBO? Yeah! That’s cool. I even had an idea of doing a story that goes in one form, and a second part that’s in another form, and a third one’s in a different form. You never do the same form.”
In today’s media, bringing back old properties via these small blocks of entertainment are all the rage, and Netflix is becoming more and more prevalent for creators (see: Fuller House). Many now feel that the Netflix model gives filmmakers a greater canvas to work with than a single film necessarily does. Slowly forming whatever story Shyamalan previously in mind for Unbreakable 2 and beyond over the course of a six-episode stretch would probably yield stronger results than trying to cram everything into one script (and leaving some things underdeveloped).
Shyamalan didn’t go into specifics about what an Unbreakable series would entail, nor if he would consider bringing back Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson to reprise their roles from the original film. Going the limited series route would certainly make it easier for those two actor to return, as the time commitment wouldn’t be nearly as demanding as a typical season-long TV show; that’s how HBO got Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson onboard for True Detective season one, after all. A hypothetical Unbreakable series would certain benefit from Willis and Jackson returning to the fold, too.
Many have said they would like to see the Unbreakable narrative continue, but nowadays the involvement of Shyamalan tends to prompt concern more than excitement. Then again, Wayward Pines (a TV event Shyamalan executive produced), is receiving high marks from critics, so he arguably hasn’t completely lost his touch. Of course, time will tell if Shyamalan gets his wish and brings this project into fruition, but now’s a better time than ever for him to pitch his own idea for a superhero series – what with comic book mythology being at the top of the food chain right now, be it on network TV or even something like Netflix (see: Daredevil).
The audience appeal is certainly there, and the world of Unbreakable can be thoroughly mined for new stories – regardless of whether or not Willis and Jackson come back. As the old saying goes, we shall wait and see.
We’ll keep you updated on any Unbreakable-related developments as they happen.