Glass’ Original Opening Scene Was Way More Chilled Out

Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Bruce Willis in Glass
(Image credit: (Universal))

Here’s a new M. Night Shyamalan twist: the Glass director famous for his unexpected endings actually has an alternate opening he’s revealed as it's released digitally today. The final film in the trilogy that began with 2000’s Unbreakable and continued with 2016’s Split was going to begin at the psychiatric facility that much of the film is set in.

The brief alternate opening (via Entertainment Weekly) has men on ladders installing cameras to the walls of Glass' main location before the eerie string music sets the scene for the movies and the opening titles roll. M. Night Shyamalan has explained why he originally thought this scene would open the movie thusly:

Structurally, what I wanted to do with the movie was to kind of say to the audience that the whole movie is going to take place in one location… My original concept of how to set up that premise: the whole movie is going to take place in this one place, we’re going to come back here. So, I wanted to start in this mysterious place where they were setting up this ambiguous kind of rooms and things for we don’t know what purpose.

This alternate scene certainly builds a bit of tension for the audience in the beginning of Glass, but it was decided that it wasn’t particularly necessary to the film. Since many of us went into the movie knowing the facility was going to be a huge part of Glass’ storyline, I’d say it was a good call. Directors such as M. Night Shyamalan have to make a ton of tough decisions when cutting together their movie, and this is an interesting one that certainly would have worked. However, here’s why he decided against it:

Ultimately it didn’t end up in that structure because there were too many beginnings and the beginning of the movie. What I did was move Patricia to the front, immediately start with her and pick up right after Split.

So instead of starting with the mysterious, Shyamalan went for the familiar. James McAvoy’s Split character was likely what many had most recently seen from the franchise, so it served as a great refresher to pick up with the story with Patricia, one of the Horde’s identities. The director also said Glass already had too many beginnings, since it also needs to quickly fill a large gap of time between David Dunn’s role in the franchise, so taking this portion out likely served the movie well.

Shyamalan has said that Glass used to be way longer, with a runtime of three hours and 20 minutes before shaving it off to a more reasonable time of 2 hours and 9 minutes. The director certainly seems like he had a grand vision for the trilogy closer. Considering the overall positive reactions of fans (polarizing the brutal critical reviews) and its $246 million worldwide gross, things turned out great.

Glass is available on Digital HD today and will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on April 16.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.