How M. Night Shyamalan Starts Each New Movie Writing Project

David Dunn searching for the Horde in Glass

M. Night Shyamalan is back on top with his long awaited Unbreakable sequel, Glass, topping the box office in its opening week. Naturally, things now turn to what is next for the director, who is on a roll and once again finds himself in the public’s good graces (if not critics’). While he could continue the Glass story, he will soon start a new movie writing project as he always does, with an idea and characters to figure out, as he explained:

After a week or two when the movie opens, all of that will go away. I’ll be going to my office, close the door, and I’ll open a notebook. It will start with a notebook, then I’ll go to the computer and it’s a blank page. I know the idea I want, but I don’t know how to tell it yet. The fun is figuring [who the characters are] … Who is she? Who is he? Writing it and going, wow, that’s not her. Why is that not her?

It sounds like any desire to tackle a sequel to Glass will fade for the director once the hubbub around the film itself dies down and the conversation moves on to the next release. At that point, M. Night Shyamalan begins the writing process, and it seems that he has a tried and true method that he goes to every time, and it all starts with an idea that he already has in his head.

The director needs to work through that idea, and in his quiet office, he does just that, committing his ideas to paper before going digital. A lot of it comes down to the characters, and as M. Night Shyamalan told Inquirer, figuring out who the characters of his story are is the fun part for him. That is obviously crucial to any new writing project and it involves a lot of trial and error.

The way he describes figuring out his characters is really interesting and we’ve heard other filmmakers speak this way too, as if the character already exists and he just needs to find him/her. He mentions that in his writing, he’ll write something about the character and then realize that it doesn’t fit, and then at that point he needs to find out why.

That’s quite fascinating because M. Night Shyamalan is making the character up, and he/she can be whatever he wants, but as he works through the characters and the story, they take on a life of their own and become more clearly defined. At that point, he discovers what they are and what they aren’t, and has to be true to that.

So, based on what he told Inquirer about his timeline, M. Night Shyamalan has got about another week or so before he goes back in to his office, closes the door and starts this writing process all over again for his next movie project.

What that will be is anyone’s guess, although it doesn’t sound like it will be a sequel to Glass, even though there are reasons to want to see more of that world. While M. Night Shyamalan is hit and miss with both critics and audiences, his movies are always interesting and give movie fans plenty to talk about. For that reason, here’s hoping he gets started on his next idea soon.

Check out our 2019 release schedule to see what you can look forward to in theaters this year, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your movie news.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.