Glass’ Poor Reviews Made M. Night Shyamalan Cry

Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Bruce Willis in Glass

It’s never easy to learn that something you’ve made isn’t liked by others. Director and writer M. Night Shyamalan has experienced this several times in his career, most recently with Glass, the final chapter of his Eastrail 177 trilogy that began with Unbreakable and continued with Split. In fact, Shyamalan cried upon learning that Glass was taking a critical beating back in January. As he recalled:

I was in London when I heard the U.S. reviews for Glass were poor. I was in a makeup chair for a TV show, and I cried… We’d just come back from the London screenings, which were through the roof. We had only great screenings of the movie around the world. So essentially I wasn’t prepared. I had this false sense of being a part of the group in a safe way. But boy, did I feel distraught that day.

For nearly two decades Unbreakable was a standalone feature in M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography, but the filmmaker finally revisited that world with Split, which, in typical Shaymalan twist fashion, had Bruce Willis’ David Dunn appear at the end. Like Unbreakable, Split was met with positive reception, so shortly after its release, Shyamalan announced he’d be making Glass next. The hype surrounding Glass only grew over the next two years (give or take), especially after the first trailer dropped last summer.

Unfortunately for M. Night Shyamalan, Glass didn’t receive anywhere near the same level of approval as its predecessors, ranking at 37% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, it wasn’t a flop across the board (as The Last Airbender and After Earth basically were), but it wasn’t a critical triumph either.

Hearing that Glass wasn’t being well-received was enough to make M. Night Shyamalan shed some tears while he was promoting the movie across the pond, but he felt better once he accounted for how commercially successful it was. Elaborating on how he felt at the time during a recent lecture at NYU’s Stern School of Business (via Indiewire), Shyamalan said:

Honestly, I was feeling like, ‘Will they never let me be different without throwing me on the garbage pile?’ The feeling of worthlessness rushed me, and to be honest, it doesn’t ever really leave. But anyway, the film went on, right? It became number one in every country in the world, and it represents my beliefs.

Glass ended up making nearly $247 million worldwide off a $20 million budget, so on the money side of things, it definitely performed splendidly, although it still ended up falling short of Unbreakable and Split’s hauls. In any case, M. Night Shyamalan appears to have made peace with how things turned out on Glass, though he still acknowledged that he still gets “tired” dealing with this kind of critical reaction to his work.

M. Night Shyamalan is now working on his upcoming Apple series Servant and also has a movie called Labor of Love in development. When more details become available on either of those projects, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about them. Glass can be purchased Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, and you can look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.