M. Night Shyamalan Originally Had Split’s Villain In Unbreakable

David Dunn in Unbreakable

M. Night Shyamalan is a director who is almost synonymous with plot twists. Starting with his breakout movie The Sixth Sense, audiences have come to expect something mind-blowing in Shyamalan's projects, and 2016's Split was certainly no exception. A contained thriller about James McAvoy's Kevin and The Horde of personalities living within his psyche, the final moments featured a surprise cameo by Bruce Willis, reprising his role from 2000's Unbreakable.

This twist essentially created a cinematic universe, and cinephiles were surprised to see M. Night Shyamalan's dark superhero flick Unbreakable come back into the lime light. But it turns out that he had this crossover planned from the beginning, and The Horde could have made an appearance during the 2000 release. As he tells it,

That was always the idea. Originally Unbreakable and Split were together. David and The Horde bump into each other at the train station, and David follows him.

Well, this is awesome. It looks like M. Night Shyamalan sat on the idea for Split and eventually Glass for a decade and change, before finally being able to complete the narrative he began. Furthermore, Unbreakable could have introduced the Horde, giving David Dunn a second villain to track down throughout the course of the movie.

M. Night Shyamalan's comments to Vulture shows how methodically the director has been approaching what will eventually hit theaters with Glass. In a time where superhero movies are everywhere, Shyamalan will bring the concept of people with abilities to a level of realism and self-awareness. Plus, we'll get to watch two extremely strong characters goes toe to toe, all while Samuel L. Jackson's Mr. Glass manipulates the situation.

So why didn't The Horde make the cut of Unbreakable? It seems it would have added to many plots to the movie, with Unbreakable largely focused on David Dunn's relationship with his family in the wake of discovering his abilities. As M. Night Shyamalan tells it:

It's a narrative issue. Whenever you raise the stakes, you can't unraise them. So once you introduce girls being abducted, there's a ticking clock that doesn't allow for the breadth of character development that I wanted to do in Unbreakable with David, his wife, and his kid.

While M. Night Shyamalan clearly had plenty of ideas for both David Dunn and The Horde, it seems the director had to simplify in order to make Unbreakable succeed the way it did. He ultimately proved his superheroics by saving a pair of kids from the Orange Suit Man. Additionally, he had his conflict with Mr. Glass in the film's third act.

World will collide when Glass arrives in theaters January 18th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.