M. Night Shyamalan Headed to Warner Bros. in First-Look Deal
M. Night Shyamalan is taking his talents to Warner Bros.
The writer/director is moving studios, after a long, fruitful relationship with Univeral that saw Shyamalan hone his chops with taut, contained, but still ambitious thrillers. His next feature, Trap, will be a Warner Bros. film when it debuts on August 2, 2024.
Shyamalan’s first-look deal with Warner Bros. will see him develop projects for both Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line. The latter just struck a deal with Shyamalan’s daughter, Ishana, to make her debut feature The Watchers, after directing episodes of M. Night’s own Servant on Apple TV. Ishana will both write and direct the feature.
Shyamalan’s tenure at Univeral was a bountiful one, debuting with his found-footage horror movie The Visit that had a budget of $5 million and went on to earn $98 million. Shyamalan’s next project was 2017’s Split, starring James McAvoy as a man with 23 personalities who kindness three girls (one of them played by Anya Taylor-Joy). His 2019 Glass was a sequel to Split and pitted McAvoy’s bruising beast against two characters from Shyamalan’s film past, Bruce Willis’s David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price, the main players in his 2000 film Unbreakable. He followed those films up with the beach-set creepfest Old in 2022 and his recent feature, Knock at the Cabin, in 2023.
Shyamalan burst onto the scene in 1999 with The Sixth Sense, his Bruce Willis-led thriller with one of the most iconic twist endings in film history. He nabbed Oscar nominations for best screenplay and best director. His penchant for the twist ending was on full display in his three follow-up films, all of which were successful—2000’s aforementioned Unbreakable, 2002’s excellent alien invasion film Signs, and 2004’s cult thriller The Village.
“Night is one of the most iconic and influential directors of his generation and an auteur in every sense of the word,” Warner Bros. Pictures heads Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy said in a joint statement. “From The Sixth Sense through Split to his latest chiller Knock at the Cabin, he’s one of the few directors in contemporary cinema whose name alone promises a bold, singular vision, compelling original storytelling and a provocative, surprising and entirely unique experience at the theater. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him to the Warner Bros. family, and look forward to an exciting collaboration with Night and the entire Blinding Edge team.”
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Featured image: BERLIN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 10: Jury President M. Night Shyamalan is seen on stage at the Opening Ceremony and “Peter von Kant” premiere during the 72nd Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Berlinale Palast on February 10, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)