Split is a huge hit. It has grossed over $170 million worldwide. More on its box-office coverage, click here and here. Self-funded by Shyamalan ($9 million) and produced and distributed by Universal Pictures, the film marks the dominance of Shyamalan factor.
As reported before, the sequel to Split, in other words, Unbreakable, is in the works. Shyamalan has an outline that’s going to be ready in the coming months. But the question is: Is Shyamalan going to ask Universal Pictures and as well as Disney to join in and help make the sequel with the budget of, let’s say, over $30 million?
Warning: Spoilers below.
If the answer to such question is a yes, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be much of an arduous thing to do for both studios, considering Shyamalan is back in the box-office radar by focusing mainly on original content and… then there is Bruce Willis. I stumbled upon a palatable piece earlier today in the Wall Street Journal, that how easy it was for Shyamalan to convince Disney to let him use David Dunn in Split.
Mr. Shyamalan had a long relationship with Mr. Bailey and his boss, Disney studios Chairman Alan Horn,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “The director described himself as “naively optimistic” about the request, but his efforts panned out. Disney allowed Universal to use Mr. Willis’s character free, as a sign of good faith. The likelihood of it being a hugely valuable favor seemed low. “Split” was made by Blumhouse, a production company known for low-budget horror movies that don’t need to do blockbuster business to turn a profit.
I, personally would like to see a more down to earth take on the sequel and I believe that’s the route Shyamalan must, must take no matter what, because (a) Night will always have full control of his own film (b) neither Shyamalan or the studios have to worry about box-office. The sequel can be made with $10 million or a little less than that since Shyamalan can play around with the pace and style of unbreakable and still proffer an effective, original thriller in the same universe as his absolute masterpiece.
Most fans will expect lots of action sequences, but they must wash their minds of that, because that’s not what Shyamalan does. Shyamalan, yes, tackles action sequences, though, in down to earth manner. Remember David Dunn v The Orange Man, shot masterfully from above, the curtain being blown by the wind, as Dunn strangles The Orange Man to death?
What’s interesting about David Dunn is that Shyamalan can take almost any plot and build a whole new world with original characters around it. Dunn doesn’t even have to be the central character in the sequel. If Shyamalan adopts such method, even slightly, we have the next big thing from the master of suspense.
What are your thoughts?