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Like most of the titles in M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography, the end of his 2000 film Unbreakable comes with an interesting twist. Not only does Bruce Willis’ David Dunn finally come to terms with the fact that he is something a touch more than human, but Samuel L. Jackson's Elijah Price is revealed to be a supervillain – truly David’s opposite in every way. The way the movie let’s this turn hang in the air as the credits roll has long had fans wondering about the prospects of an Unbreakable 2 - and apparently it’s an idea that Shyamalan is still interested in as well.
The Sixth Sense filmmaker is currently promoting his television series Wayward Pines - on which he serves as both producer and director – and it was while talking with Collider that he revealed that he still has thoughts about making an Unbreakable 2. Of course, what helps is the fact that cinematic world has gone absolutely crazy about comic book movies and superhero stories over the last 15 years. Shyamalan explained,
"I love those characters and I love that world. Of course, the whole world makes comic book movies now. At the time, it was completely novel. I remember when I made it, Disney was literally like, ‘Comic books?! There’s no market for comic books!’ That’s all they make now! It was a hilarious conversation."
It’s hard to argue with Shyamalan’s comments. While Stephen Norrington’s Blade (which came out in 1998) and Bryan Singer’s X-Men (which came out in summer 2000) both preceded Unbreakable’s fall 2000 release, it was still a very early time in the modern superhero movie age. It wasn’t really until Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002 that things really started to kick into high gear, and then everything really changed in 2005 with the start of what would become Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and in 2008 with the introduction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Things are obviously quite a bit different now than they were back then.
Going further about his vision for an Unbreakable 2, though, M. Night Shyamalan also drove home the point that his film wouldn’t exactly be like a modern comic book movie, largely because he wouldn’t want to betray what was established in the original. In that movie, he established a real, grounded world, and added superhuman elements on top of it – and that’s something that he imagines would continue in the sequel. He told the website,
"It feels like a straight-up drama. It’s real. You’re confronting the possibility that comic book characters were based on people that were real. That’s the premise, so the tone has to be super grounded. It would be cool."
Despite being a superhero movie in a time before superhero movies were super popular, Unbreakable was a solid box office success – making $248 million on a $75 million budget. While that is nice, there is still a question of whether or not anyone would actually let M. Night Shyamalan make an Unbreakable 2 at this point. The director has become famous over the years for the precipitous degrade of quality in his work, and that came to a head in 2013 with the release of After Earth. Not only was the movie critically trashed, but it wound up being a notable summer flop, bringing in only $60 million while carrying a hefty pre-marketing $130 million budget. As a result, Shyamalan isn’t exactly the in-demand filmmaker he once was, and a studio might be wary about his ideas for an Unbreakable sequel.
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