The Massive Easter Egg M. Night Shyamalan Decided To Pull Out Of Split


The following story contains spoilers for M. Night Shyamalan's Split. If you somehow have avoided the movie, and all talk of its ending, turn away now and stop reading.

OK, as all of you know, Split ends with a pre-credits scene that shows Bruce Willis' Unbreakable character, David Dunn, processing the news stories about James McAvoy's character, Kevin, who now has a media-generated nickname, The Horde. With one quick reveal, Shyamalan confirms that Split exists in his larger Unbreakable universe, and he teases fans about the possibility of Dunn going after the malevolent Kevin, establishing a super-powered conflict between good and evil. But the final scene wasn't supposed to be the first mention of Unbreakable and its characters in Split. In a lengthy and SPOILER-filled conversation with MTV, Night explained that this massive scene was supposed to be in Split, until he pulled it. The director revealed:

In the script, there were more [Unbreakable] Easter Eggs, and I had to pull them out. There were things alluding to what's happening in the city, and with the kind of the mania that is happening in the city. And it kept referencing... there was a version of the script, and I was shooting it, where they were actively battling. Mr. Glass and David Dunn. They were actively continuing to battle. And that was so distracting from the movie. Literally, the only CGI shot from the movie was like helicopters in the background, with a burning building, where they are talking in the background and [the press] reference it, and they go, 'See?' And you are wondering, 'What's going on? What's going on?' And then you get to the end. ... We shot that. [But] that it was going on in real time confused people. At least, in my office. 'Wait a minute? When is this? Is it the same time period, or if this 15 years later?'

Would that have been cool? Including that scene, at the very least, would have established Split's role as an Unbreakable sequel, as we would have seen that both Bruce Willis' character and Samuel L. Jackson's character were still at odds, 15 years later. And then we'd spend the rest of the time wondering how James McAvoy and the ladies he has kidnapped fit in. M. Night Shyamalan and MTV podcast host Josh Horowitz even compare Dunn and Mr. Glass to Batman ad the Joker, and no one would be surprised if, in the background of a sequel, these two were still duking it out in the background, as a city looked on.


Ultimately, though, it was determined by M. Night Shyamalan to be too much of a distraction to the Split story he was trying to tell. And I can't argue. I think the shot of Bruce Willis at the end of Split is a fitting tease for what might come. Now, Night, the ball is back in your court. What do you have planned for the future of the Unbreakable universe?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.