When writer/director M. Night Shyamalan created the 2000 thriller Unbreakable, he envisioned it as the first part of a trilogy about an ordinary man, played by Bruce Willis, who discovers that he has extraordinary powers. Unfortunately, he was never able to continue telling that story past the first film. But that hasn’t stopped Shyamalan from talking about continuing and not surprisingly now that he is doing the publicity rounds for his latest film After Earth it has come up in discussions again.
The topic first came up with MTV, where the director stated that while he wants to return to tell the story of Unbreakable 2, he wants to make sure he isn’t doing it just to make a sequel but because he has something to say with the story.
In an interview with the Huffington Post he expounds on it further –
Huffington Post: There’s been talk of an “Unbreakable” sequel for a long time.
M. Night Shyamalan: Yeah.
Samuel L. Jackson seems to want to do it. I saw you two talking on Twitter.
It’s a harder one for me because — it’s getting closer, by the way.
I feel like I’ve heard that for the past 10 years. I want that to be true.
I want it to happen, too. We’ve been talking about almost the same subject in every one of your questions, which is artistic integrity — something versus an agenda. Right? And almost every single one of your questions was agenda versus intention, even though you didn’t realize it, but it kind of fell into that theme as we were talking.
So, like you think I go and I write, “Oh, I’m going to write a twist ending.”
I didn’t know. That’s why I asked.
That’s an agenda versus “I want to talk about loneliness.” And then it comes out, “How is the best way to talk about loneliness?” Intention versus agenda. And then I go, “Oh my God, if I make a movie about loneliness and everybody hated it, will it be able to come out and people will get it?” That’s when you start going, “Oh my God,” and you try to push that away. The same thing with “Unbreakable,” to some extent, it’s excitement to be made. “It’s such a fun thing” is squashing my ability to find the thing that’s connecting me with it. Does that make sense? So, I don’t feel like I did it for agenda reasons. So, slowly I’m getting a story in my head that I feel like is able to tell what I’m feeling right now.
For people who like that movie, it sounds encouraging.
Yeah, it is! The story of a guy who kind of wakes up with a little gray feeling in the morning, I love that character. It’s something that I feel and I want to talk more about that character.
So are we closer to this happening? It’s been 13 years since the original film came out. At this point, the son of Bruce Willis’s character will have grown up to be a young man. Perhaps that might be a jumping off point for the story? Who knows? The answer is about as clear as the question of whether we are actually any closer to Unbreakable 2 becoming a reality.