It has been more than 16 years since M. Night Shyamalan released his superhero/supervillain epic "Unbreakable," and Samuel L. Jackson is ready to return for a sequel. There's been talk of an "Unbreakable 2" for years, but now not only are stars Jackson and Bruce Willis ready to go, Shyamalan is working on a script, and Disney and Universal are reportedly ready to partner on the film.
Why now? Well, you probably can guess, but ... in case you can't ...
Spoilers ahead from Shyamalan's latest movie "Split." Stop reading now if you don't want to know anything about that movie, as well as the first "Unbreakable" movie.
"Split" stars James McAvoy as Kevin Wendle Crumb, a guy with multiple personalities whom police nickname The Horde. At the end of the movie, someone recalls another crazy guy nicknamed by police. Some guy in a wheelchair 15 years ago... Then the camera reveals Bruce Willis's "Unbreakable" character, David Dunn, who says the man's name was Mr. Glass. Yep, "Split" and "Unbreakable" are part of the same universe. And now that "Split" has made a crapload of money -- more than $170M at this point, off a $9M budget -- everyone is ready to combine the worlds for a combined "Split 2"/"Unbreakable 2" movie.
Turns out, Sam Jackson found out about the twist the same way audiences did. He shared the story with Collider:
"I got a call and [Shyamalan] said, 'Call me I wanna talk to you about something.' And I called him, because I always do when I get a message from him always hoping [it's 'Unbreakable 2'], and he said, 'I just did this film called Split, I want you to see it,' and I was like 'OK, I'm down with that.' I had no idea what Split was about or anything else, and he said, 'We'll talk after you see it.' So I went to the arranged screening and I called him immediately and was like, 'OK dude does this mean what I think it means?' and he was like, 'Well first we gotta see how the movie does'. And I think the movie's done well enough now to merit the 'OK, let's put this together.'"
Jackson told Collider he considers Kevin/The Horde "an adequate foe for what Bruce's 'Unbreakable' character is in terms of him being sort of unbreakable too in that kind of way," but now "It's just a matter of breaking [Elijah's] ass out of wherever that mental institution was they had me locked up and let's get it on, let's see what happens!"
The Wall Street Journal reports that Universal Pictures and Disney hoping to combine forces on the sequel, since "Unbreakable" was a Disney movie, and Universal distributed "Split." A source told WSJ, "Disney expects to work with Universal as a partner, and participant in the profits. The two studios have yet to hammer out a deal for a sequel, in which Mr. Willis's character likely would feature much more prominently, because Mr. Shyamalan is still in the planning stages."
Shyamalan recently tweeted about the outline for his next movie, meaning his follow-up to "Split."
In January, Shyamalan had a Q&A with The Hollywood Reporter about the plans for a "final" movie to combine worlds:
Did you always conceive of ['Split'] as being part of the 'Unbreakable' universe?
This was always part of the "Unbreakable" world. Kevin Wendle Crumb was a part of the original, original script for "Unbreakable." I pulled him out because it just wasn't balancing right. But a bunch of the scenes that are in this movie, I wrote 15 years ago. They were as is. Patricia opening the door. Hedwig's first scene. Those were all written already. And it's literally from the same moment that I created all the characters, all three of those characters. But I knew I wanted to do a movie about him because I just loved him so much, and I thought it's a rich world for storytelling, so I was super, super excited to finally make it.
You've teased an Unbreakable sequel for years. Was this it? Or are we going to see another one with Bruce Willis as the star?
This is down the line, but my hope is to make one final movie that combines the two.
It doesn't sound like it's too far down the line.
By the way, back in 2015 comedian Patton Oswalt shared an idea for an "Unbreakable" trilogy, picking up from the reference at the end of the first movie about other "Unbreakables" in the world. He suggested a sequel called "Unbreakables" with David Dunn assembling other superpowered people while Samuel L. Jackson's Elijah/Mr. Glass forms his own master plan from the asylum. At the time, Shyamalan liked the idea. Who knows, maybe grains of it will still be included in this "Split"/"Unbreakable" sequel.
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