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The following story contains spoilers for Split, as well as Unbreakable and Glass. Stop reading now if you somehow got in here and don't want to know them.
Ever since that moment at the end of M. Night Shyamalan's Split, where the camera pans around a roadside diner and stops on Bruce Willis, rabid fans have been wondering how the split-personality thriller would merge with the director's ground superhero drama, Unbreakable. Today, at CinemaCon, the director took to the stage with his cast in tow -- Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Sarah Paulson -- to show the first look at Glass. And, as Jackson proclaimed:
It's about time I got the title role in my own motherfucking movie!
So, what did they show? The Glass clip opens on Sarah Paulson's character, a psychiatrist in what looks like a psychiatric ward who, according to her, specializes in patients who believe that they have super powers. Delusions of grandeur. And her three patients currently happen to be David Dunn (Willis), Elijah Price (Jackson) and Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy).
As Paulson describes the symptoms that each man displays, we see footage that is paired with their exploits. David is still out fighting crime, though Paulson's doctor puts doubt in our mind that he actually HAS abilities. Elijah is still obsessed with the idea of comics. And Kevin is juggling his multiple personalities.
There's a definite thrill to seeing Bruce Willis on the streets of Philadelphia, in his signature rain slicker and hood -- older, with more grey in that beard -- but still writing wrongs. David says he is "in security," and reminds the doctor that he needs to touch a person to get that feeling that something might be wrong. And though we are asked to possibly doubt his powers, we do get a shot of him containing people in a shipping container, and bending a steel bar to keep them locked in.
There's also a lot of footage of Elijah manipulating Kevin, asking to meet The Beast (one of Kevin's personalities, who we met in Split), and noting that their pairing is a lot like the super villains teaming up. Since The Beast was on the loose at the end of Split, we do get a scene of James McAvoy tormenting some cheerleaders that he has kidnapped. And it becomes clear, late in the clip, that David Dunn absolutely is going after The Beast, because he and Kevin are locked in combat, even breaking out of a window and tumbling several stories during a nighttime fight.
"This is not a cartoon. This is the real world," Mr. Glass warns in the trailer, cementing that Glass will be a worthy continuation of the world established by M. Night Shyamalan in Unbreakbable. As the clip concludes, Elijah says he has been waiting for years for the world to see these superpowered beings for what they truly are. And when one of Kevin's personalities ask Elijah what he calls himself, he replies, "First name, Mister. Last name? Glass."
Glass is opening in theaters on January 18, 2019, from Blumhouse and Universal. It looks like a worthy and spectacular continuation of one of M. Night Shyamalan's best and most underrated films.