Whether you love or hate his films, director M. Night Shyamalan has drawn passionate reactions from viewers throughout his career. His breakout film, The Sixth Sense, was such a success that it scored multiple Academy Award nominations, while films like The Last Airbender and After Earth are often considered some of the biggest disappointments of their years of release. Viewers who criticize the films sometimes forget that there is an individual behind these movies with thoughts and feelings, instead aiming to be as vicious as possible in their takedowns. Shyamalan recently revealed that when he discovered the abundance of negative reviews for Glass, it had a strong emotional impact on him.
"I was in London when I heard the U.S. reviews for Glass were poor," Shyamalan admitted to the NYU's Stern School of Business at a lecture earlier this week. "I was in a makeup chair for a TV show, and I cried."
The film was a financial success, taking in $246 million worldwide, though Rotten Tomatoes calculated only 37% positive reviews for the film.
"We'd just come back from the London screenings, which were through the roof," the filmmaker noted. "We had only great screenings of the movie around the world. So essentially I wasn't prepared. I had this false sense of being a part of the group in a safe way. But boy, did I feel distraught that day."
What makes the filmmaker's career so interesting is that he has enjoyed both hot and cold streaks. While The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs all received positive responses from audiences and critics, his next six were both critical and financial disappointments. However, The Visit and Split gave Shyamalan back-to-back successes, leading many to think this was the beginning of another hot streak.
"Honestly, I was feeling like, 'Will they never let me be different without throwing me on the garbage pile?'" Shyamalan detailed of the highs and lows of his career. "The feeling of worthlessness rushed me, and to be honest, it doesn't ever really leave. But anyway, the film went on, right? It became number one in every country in the world, and it represents my beliefs."
Interestingly, one of the more prominent trends that audiences have noticed is that the lower the budget, and the lower the expectations, the more success a film earns.
"I did a couple huge, big-budget CGI movies," Shyamalan described. "There has always been this inexorable pull to join the group, a constant seduction in the form of whatever you want to tally, in the form of money, or safety, ease, not getting criticized. I did these movies, and I rightfully got crushed, because they rightfully said, 'You don't believe in yourself, you don't believe in your own voice, and in you don't believe in your values.' I felt really lost. It just didn't work. There's probably something Darwinian about all this."
The filmmaker has yet to confirm his next project. Glass is out on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD now.
What do you think of Shyamalan's remarks? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!
Have you subscribed to ComicBook Nation, the official Podcast of ComicBook.com, yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
In this latest episode, we look at all the reveals from Star Wars Celebration, talk Disney+, discuss the return of Game of Thrones, and so much more! Make sure to subscribe now and never miss an episode!