Way before Marvel and DC films were a popular feature in modern day movie theaters, comic book movies were few and far between. The early 2000s is considered the dawn of superhero comic book movies, and M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable was one of the earliest, both in the genre and in the writer/director’s career. With his new film Glass premiering this Friday, completing the Unbreakable trilogy he continued with 2016’s Split, Shyamalan revealed he previously turned down offers from both Marvel and DC to direct comic book films because he didn’t want to water down his film making style with company expectations.
In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Shyamalan discussed the conflict he experienced with such offers. “It’s confusing because it’s the subject that I love but I want to make sure it’s right for everybody," he said. "I have a strong [filmmaking] accent. It’s very particular, and the best version of it is, to keep the accent.” He had to consider if those kinds of movies, which, while being fun or unique do follow a general formula or come with certain expectations, are right for that. He compared his genre of film making to Tabasco and was hesitant to see how that flavor would mix with the other film's and their specific style.
Shyamalan didn’t rule out that he’d ever direct a DC or Marvel movie but said it was very hard to imagine, citing the difficulty directors who have a distinct style might have trying to create films that connect to a shared universe. “They [the studios] want to make them in a certain language. And what if I said ‘Hey, I’m going to do this 3-minute shot on the back of his head, and I also want to make them very dark, and I want his motivation to be really ambiguous, and I want to challenge the audience to make them super-uncomfortable. I want them to be okay with those things.”
Despite early mixed to negative reviews from critics, estimates suggest Glass may earn $50-75 million in its opening weekend and hopefully complete the trilogy Shyamalan started 18 years ago in a satisfying manner that resonates with fans and may lead to future like-minded films in his future.
Directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan, Glass is slated for release on Jan. 18, 2019. The film stars James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/The Beast, Bruce Willis as David Dunn, Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price/Mr. Glass and Sarah Paulson as Ellie Staple.