After Christopher Nolan’s Move To Universal, M. Night Shyamalan Shares Thoughts On Why Other Directors Should Join The Studio

While it’s been decades since we had the studio system, where talent was under contract to a particular studio and made nearly all their films in one place. It’s not uncommon today for actors or directors to find themselves working in one place again and again. Director Christopher Nolan has made his last several projects at Warner Bros. but his next movie will be done at Universal. And one director who has been hanging his hat there, M. Night Shyamalan, thinks other directors should do the same because of the studio’s commitment to original stories.

M. Night Shyamalan has found a home working at Universal Pictures in the last few years and he recently told THR that one of the things he loves about the studio is that it has a commitment to both original movie ideas and the theatrical experience. Both Shyamalan and Jordan Peele have been making original films at Universal with significant success. Shyamalan suggests that any director who cares about these things should come too. He explains... 

Definitely, definitely. I conveyed how much I feel about Universal’s commitment to original storytelling and the movie theaters. And in an age where everybody is trying to sell the narrative that original movies and movie theaters are dying out, I don’t believe that at all! Not even a little bit. And Universal has doubled down — and continues to double down — that it’s their identity. So I’m hoping Jordan, Chris, myself and anybody else that will come over, or at other studios, can prove that everyone wants to see fresh, original ideas in a movie theater.

Considering that Christopher Nolan is known for both original films (Batman notwithstanding), and he is a huge proponent of the theatrical experience. He likely will appreciate working at the studio if M. Night Shyamalan’s words ring true, and the Unbreakable director certainly has a lot of evidence in his favor. 

While Universal Pictures certainly has its share of franchises, M. Night Shyamalan and Jordan Peele are two examples of directors who tend to write, and then direct, standalone projects that are original and are not necessarily meant to be franchise features. And they tend to do well with audiences, or critics, or both. Christopher Nolan could also be described this way.

There is, however, one big difference between Christopher Nolan and those other directors and that’s that M. Night Shyamalan and Jordan Peele tend to make movies with budgets on the low (for Hollywood) side. It’s easier to support original ideas when the loss will be minimal if they don’t work out. And the upside can be huge if they hit. Christopher Nolan is not known for those sorts of movies, His films are big and that usually also means expensive. Time will tell if Christopher Nolan and Universal work well together. If they do, then one expects the director will be hanging around.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.