Glass, the once-surprise sequel to M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable and Split, continues to strengthen its connection to the former by casting two more actors who originally appeared in the first of Shymalan's two superhero movies.
Opening weekend audiences were shocked by the twist at the end of this year's Split, as we all learned that Shyamalan had made a companion piece to his 2000 release Unbreakable - by way of a villain origin story for James McAvoy's Kevin Wendell Crumb. Crumb, a dangerous man with multiple personalities that include a monstrous entity known as the Beast, is an ideal foe for a super-powered hero like Bruce Willis' David Dunn. The two will go face to face in Glass, the capper of this unlikely trilogy that Shyamalan fans have been craving for years.
Lest that some think that the connection to Unbreakable in Glass will be no more extensive than in name and main characters, it appears that Shyamalan has plans for the supporting characters from his 2000 film too. According to THR, the film has added actors Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard, both of whom played roles in Unbreakable. Clark, who was just twelve at the time of the movie's release, played the son of Willis' Dunn. Woodward played the mother of Samuel L. Jackson's wheelchair-bound Elijah Price, aka "Mr. Glass."
Glass is of course named for Jackson's mysterious figure from the original film, who secretly orchestrated a lot of the mass murder activities in Unbreakable due to a psychopathic and anger-driven antagonist complex. Jackson will be returning along with Anya Taylor Joy, who played the sole survivor of Split after escaping the clutches of Crumb at the end of the film. The main four are joined by newcomer Sarah Paulson, best known for her standout performances in American Horror Story, American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson, and 12 Years a Slave.
Clark is also known for his performances in films like Gladiator and Mystic River, as well as the ABC TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Woodard, for her part, has had extended runs on TV shows like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Chicago Hope and ER. The casting of these two new characters into the film further expands this Unbreakable universe beyond the surface level connection between the original film and Split. It feels like Glass will embrace the best of both of those films, with producer Jason Blum referring to the film as being a "very different" kind of superhero movie, a la Unbreakable.
It remains to be seen how well Glass will balance its horror and superhero genre elements, given that the two are rarely blended together successfully. With that in mind, the success of Split has audiences excited for Glass and the return of a good M. Night Shyamalan, which they will hopefully get when the film arrives in 2019.
- Glass (2019) release date: Jan 18, 2019