Earlier this year it was revealed that filmmaker M. Night Shyamlan has a busy four years ahead of him as the Oscar nominee had signed a new deal with Universal Pictures. As part of this agreement with the studio, Shyamalan will write and direct his next two movies for the studio, both of which are set to be released in 2021 and 2023 respectively. As is tradition with the filmmaker, details about these new movies is being kept under wraps for the time being but in a new interview Shyamalan has hinted at how these new movies will be handled and that their subject matter will be familiar to those that have followed his work.
Speaking with Collider, Shyamalan reiterated that the style of filmmaking he's been sticking with since the surprise hit The Visit in 2015 will be his guiding light for these next projects. The director intends to keep that unique tone that his films have had since then which he himself describes as "absurd-but-grounded."
“I’m loving this approach from The Visit on where they’re minimal, contained, I own them, we take big tonal risks and try to hit that note of absurd-but-grounded, that dark humor moment and deal with some complicated things and not necessarily take the audience where they’re comfortable, both during or even at the end. That’s all mitigated because we’re working with a respectable number and I feel like I’m being a good partner to my distributors. I like that because it allows me to iterate really fast in the making of these stories, so those films follow that architecture of approach and process. Even if it’s tricking myself into being more dangerous, it’s working because when I think about these three films that I’m thinking about—all weird and dark—I think that they speak to each other a little bit.”
That's right, Shyamalan isn't considering his next ventures with the studio as just the previously announced two movies, instead he's working on three ideas which might shift the release dates around when it's all said and done.
“I just had two movie ideas I felt very strongly about. For me, there are ideas and they’re in journals sometimes and they don’t quite have the meat yet or whatever that thing is that makes it so I’m ready to commit two years of my life to making this—to writing and directing this—some of those ideas don’t have that yet. They have to gestate a little bit. But there were two ideas where right away I was thinking about making them. And, interesting enough, there might be a third thing that came to me that might end up going in between these two. So there might be three.”
Currently, Shyamalan’s next two Universal movies will be released theatrically on February 26, 2021 and February 17, 2023, respectively. There's no word on when or if that third idea of his will be released or if it will take one of these previously announced release dates when it does see the light of day. In the meantime the director will have his hands full as his Apple TV+ series Servant has already been renewed for a second season on the new streaming service, something he says could run for about six seasons when it's all said and done.
Shyamalan's most recent film was Glass, the long awaited sequel to Unbreakable that also functioned as a follow-up to his 2016 film Split. The two films each grossed $246.98 million and $278.45 million worldwide respectively.
(H/T Bloody Disgusting)