M. Night Shyamalan Explains Why He Turned Down Marvel and DC Comics Projects
M. Night Shyamalan has become an incredibly accomplished filmmaker in the horror genre, yet he first dabbled in the world of superheroes with Unbreakable back in 2000. The director recently revealed that, while he has been approached by Marvel and DC Comics to potentially deliver a story featuring their characters, he felt as though he would be denied creative control on those universes, making him pass on those offers.
"I want to make sure it's right for everybody. I have a strong [filmmaking] accent. It's very particular, and the best version of it is, to keep the accent," Shyamalan shared with Yahoo when asked if he would apply his perspective to Marvel or DC. "Are those movies [Marvel and DC superhero films] a place for that? Or is it appropriate for that?"
He added, "Because they, in and of themselves, have their own flavor. Do they want this other Tabasco in there? So it's philosophically a question. It doesn't mean [I'll] never [do it], but it's very hard to imagine. Filmmakers that have a heavy accent – I don't necessarily want them to make those movies."
In Unbreakable, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) was the lone survivor of a train derailment, ultimately leading him to the discovery that he was impervious to most injuries, much like a superhero. The film debuted before Sam Raimi's Spider-Man in 2002, which catapulted superheroes back to the forefront of pop culture.
The superhero genre has seen various interpretations in the decades since, though Shyamalan feels like sticking to his own material would be the best for everyone.
"It's not fair to [studios], because they want to make [their films] in a certain language," the filmmaker pointed out. "And what if I said 'Hey, I'm going to do this three-minute shot on the back of his head, and I also want to make them very dark, and I want his motivation to be really ambiguous, and I want to challenge the audience to make them super-uncomfortable.' I want [the studio] to be OK with those things."
Shyamalan's latest film, Glass, concludes the storyline that launched with Unbreakable and continued with 2017's Split, which focused on a man (James McAvoy) whose fractured psyche caused him to kidnap young girls to sacrifice to a supernaturally strong personality known as "The Beast." Joining David Dunn and The Beast is Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who has brittle bones but a razor-sharp intellect.
Glass lands in theaters this Friday.
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