At NYCC’s “Unbreakable: Ten Years Later” panel with M. Night Shyamalan, the director made his first Comic Con appearance of any kind, period. He encountered an enthusiastic crowd and discussed ideas for Unbreakable 2 that have never come to fruition.
After showing a clip from Unbreakable, Shyamalan met the crowd to a rapturous applause and began recounting the criticism of the film had measured. He remembered how a Carrot Top movie that had been released the same time as Unbreakable had received higher praise from particular news outlets. Indeed, this panel was a vindication of sorts for the director.
The director also noted how the movie industry’s experienced a superheroic sea change — he attempted to sell Unbreakable as a superhero movie but encountered resistance from the studios. Indeed, a fuzzy nostalgia for the late 1990s-early 2000s pervaded the panel (after all Unbreakable debuted Thanksgiving 2000). Shyamalan also spoke at length about his admiration for Quentin Tarantino as a pioneering filmmaker. He also noted that he’s met “unusual fans” of the film, including one fan who wanted to fight crime with Shyamalan.
MTV played a clip show of a correspondent trying to convince Shyamalan to make Unbreakable 2; it also showed footage of Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson expressing interest in a sequel. Shyamalan noted that there wasn’t an immediate sequel as he was hurt by the reception of the film at the time. He recounted how callous teenagers on the street would crack wise about Mr. Glass. Goodness knows how he took the Airbender reception — in fact, the film wasn’t mentioned once during the panel. However Shyamalan did explain that he had originally planned to direct Devil after The Village.
The director also mentioned that as an artist, he’s not good at “taking the repercussions.” He noted that he’s had ideas for Unbreakable 2, but he was afraid the sequel wouldn’t live up to the original. He said that he has considered writing a comic book Night Chronicles sequel to Unbreakable. Indeed, the past was on display here, and we didn’t hear much about his future projects.Overall, Shyamalan was content to revisit the past. Alas and alack, there were no twists up his sleeve.