M. Night Shyamalan Tells Us The Actor He Really Wants To Work With Again, And I Need This To Happen

Glass movie trio
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Glass and Unbreakable director M. Night Shyamalan enjoyed yet another Number 1 opening when Knock at the Cabin dethroned Avatar at the box office and posted a healthy $14.2 million in domestic tickets sold. Critics raved about the performances in the film, particularly that of Shyamalan newcomer Dave Bautista, who countered his intimidating physical presence with a soft and understated line delivery that suited his gentle character. Here’s hoping for more collaborations between the Guardians of the Galaxy star and Shyamalan, as the director often reteams with actors he enjoys, be it Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, or James McAvoy. And yet, Shyamalan told us the actor he has only worked with once that he’s dying to reteam with, and I think it’s an incredible idea.

M. Night Shyamalan was a guest on CinemaBlend’s official ReelBlend podcast, and spoke about the process on bringing Knock at the Cabin to the screen. But during the conversation, he opened up about an actor he has only worked with once that he wishes he could work with again soon. The filmmaker replied:

I’m sure there’s tons. I don’t want to not say all of the actors, but I’ll take one. I’ll tell you who popped into my head when you said it, it was Sarah Paulson. She popped into my head. So if Sarah is out there, let’s do it again sometime.

You might be reading this and wondering which movie Sarah Paulson worked on with M. Night Shyamalan, and that’s because their collaboration was marketed heavily on the three stars in the lead: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy. Their 2019 movie Glass was positioned as the long-awaited sequel to Unbreakable, bringing Willis’s superhero back into contact with his nemesis, Mr. Glass (Jackson). But the encounter took place in a psychiatric hospital, and Paulson played the therapist trying to determine if the men were suffering from delusions of grandeur – or if they actually possessed super powers.

Sarah Paulson in Glass

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Glass didn’t get the best reviews in the world, but Sarah Paulson was a standout as the doctor working with these unusual patients. There’s a twist regarding her involvement in the plot. This is Shyamalan. Of course there’s a twist. And she does a tremendous job of hiding it. I'd love it if Paulson somehow managed to become a stable part of Shyamalan’s troupe of go-to performers, the way that she is for Ryan Murphy on television.

At the same time, there are numerous actors who have excelled in an M. Night Shyamalan movie and not returned, from Toni Collette (so brilliant in The Sixth Sense) and Mel Gibson (Signs) to the recent work of Thomasin McKenzie in the beach thriller Old. There’s still time for all of these actors. So long as Night keeps delivering Number 1 movies at the box office, Hollywood will find time for his stories, and these actors should be ready to go when the call comes in.   

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.