Gael García Bernal is joining M. Night Shyamalan's new movie from Universal Pictures, Deadline reports. The nature of the film remains a secret. The film's cast already includes Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Vicky Krieps, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, and Ken Leung. Shyamalan is writing, producing, and directing the untitled film. Shyamalan is also executive producing the film alongside Ashwin Rajan of Blinding Edge Pictures. Mark Bienstock is also a producer on the project, and Steven Schneider is an executive producer. Representatives for Universe Pictures had no comment on the report of Bernal's casting in the film.
Universal put the super-secret Shyamalan project on its schedule for July 23, 2021, after removing it from the schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. There's no firm production start date in place, but the report suggests they hope to begin filming in the fall.
Shyamalan self-financing the new mystery movie. He did the same with three of his other recent films: Glass, Split, and The Visit. The combined production budget for those films reached $35 million. They went on to earn a combined $600 million at the box office worldwide. The new movie is a departure for Shyamalan as he does not typically make films with such large, ensemble casts. This is the first film produced as part of Shyamalan's new two-film deal with Universal.
"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," Shyamalan said in an interview late last year. "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."
Bernal typically sticks to smaller films, like Rosewater and Babel. He directed the film Chicurates for La Corriente del Golf, the production company he runs with Diego Luna. The Shyamalan movie will be a rare step into blockbuster territory. He also appears in the Netflix drama series The Wasp Network.
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