Our times are those of impossible things happening. And sometimes those things are actually good.
In the most unlikely twist in M. Night Shyalaman’s career since “makes a good movie again” the first trailer for Universal’s Glass is here. The not entirely surprising sequel to Split (2016) is also the entirely shocking sequel to 2000’s highly-underrated-but-grown-in-esteem-since Unbreakable.
At its release, Shyamalan’s follow-up to The Sixth Sense left the general audience underwhelmed after his break-onto-the-scene stunner. The long and winding road since has had lows that hardly bear repeating and not so much highs as signs of renewed promise that peaked with Split‘s creepy thrills. Showing he has some cunning left Shyamalan also made that contained thriller a backdoor sequel for the adored by many Unbreakable.
Now Bruce Willis, in one of his best understated performances in David Dunn, will go up against James McAvoy at his most powerhouse in “The Beast” and all of Kevin Wendell Crumb’s other personalities, while Samuel L. Jackson plays the polar opposite of his Nick Fury in Mr. Glass, pulling strings even as he carries the title.
Unbreakable if a fantastic, patient, gorgeous and quietly inspiring film that was, it seems, at least a decade ahead of its time. It is now all the more fascinating for it and demands a rewatch or a first watch thanks to how it explored comic books, heroes and villains and heroism itself. Split was a crackling monster movie built on an intriguing premise with an even better performance where the monster was a man – and we all know what monstrous men are capable of.
There’s no telling for sure how all of these elements will collide, but the Glass trailer definitely leans more into the Unbreakable themes than Split‘s horror tones. However, it does look gorgeous while Samuel L. and McAvoy look to be having the time of their lives — and Willis at least looks like he’s contemplating giving a committed performance. There’s more than a few shot compositions and instances of production design that say early Shyamalan, and the dialogue inspires hope for some of the past thematic ambition even as the trailer presents itself as a kind of indie-rock Avengers with modern action-beat inclusion and pacing.
In addition Sarah Paulson joins as a superhero delusion specializing shrink (which, in 2018 actually seems plausible) and Anya Taylor-Joy returns as Split‘s heroin that miiiiiiiiight just be able to cage The Beast thanks to her adapting to and overcoming her own trauma. One also hopes that composer West Dylan Thorson is able to bring something to the table as subtly stirring as James Newton Howard’s original score — which I may or may not be humming right now.
As an old Unbreakable die hard (no pun intended) I could not be more excited or flabbergasted that this movie is coming, even if I don’t totally know how to feel about this trailer and its smorgasbord of flavor. But maybe that’s only because I so completely never expected to see it happen, like an elephant flying or a Trump getting elected. It is truly a world of wonders.
What do you make of Shyamalan’s latest swing for the fences? Stay tuned for more and hold on until January 18th, 2019 when we’ll finally see if Glass stuns, or shatters.