Moviegoers thought they knew what they were getting into with M. Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller Split. And up until the final twist scene, it played out like a self-contained story by the iconic director. Until Bruce Willis showed up, that is. Glass is up next, and fans one again think they know what to expect, as the characters from Unbreakable and Split collide. The trailers for the movie haven't really altered that perception, but according to M. Night Shyamalan, Glass isn't the movie you think it's going to be. He said:
I don't want to spoil anything for you, but there's a lot of references to the movie that it knows you think it's going to be. It's very aware of that, and it will tell you that, and then it becomes this other thing.
Leave it to M. Night Shyamalan to deliver an intentionally cryptic statement that is filled with meaning and threads to speculate about. In his interview with Den of Geek, the director was responding to a question about Glass being set in the real world, and being referential to our reality. His response implies that, based on what we know about the film and have seen so far from trailers, the upcoming movie will be purposefully messing with fan expectations.
By the sound of it, Glass knows those expectations, and M. Night Shyamalan played with them in the film. Perhaps this will include referencing specific beats that we expect from these kinds of movies. Or maybe the narrative arc of the film that has been formed in our heads based on what's shown in the trailers.
What M. Night Shyamalan seems to be saying is that Glass will be playing in to our expectations, reinforcing them and then, at some point, the story is going to zig when we expect it to zag. This might result in the film becoming something else entirely. This is certainly interesting, and it's anyone's guess what exactly this turn in the narrative arc will be.
Glass is is teased to have Bruce Willis' David Dunn pursuing James McAvoy's The Beast over multiple encounters. All the while Samuel L. Jackson's mastermind Mr. Glass emerges as a puppeteer of events who knows important secrets about both characters. That's basically what we've seen from the trailers, save for the trio's time spent in a psychiatric facility. Maybe the revelation of those secrets, whatever they are, is where the film will start making unexpected turns.
Twists became M. Night Shyamalan's calling card over the years, and some worked better than others. It definitely sounds like he will be employing unexpected devices in Glass, ones that take advantage of our preconceived notions about what this film is. It makes you wonder if the twist related material hasn't been shown in the trailers, or if we just can't understand the scenes it out of context.
M. Night Shyamalan's comments may excite hardcore moviegoers. Cinephiles are so used to movie trailers spoiling things, so it is neat to think that the trailers for Glass might be setting audiences up in a way that enhances the film, therefore making the twist all the more impactful.
Glass breaks into theaters on January 18, 2019. For all of the movies coming to theaters next year, check out our 2019 Release Schedule.