After seeing his star diminish a bit in recent years due to a string of box-office duds, M. Night Shyamalan is trying his hand at television — and he plans to steal a bit from the master.
Shyamalan’s trippy new 10-episode Fox series Wayward Pines aims to tell the story of an unsettling small town that houses some very big secrets. What, exactly, are they hiding? We have no clue, but Matt Dillon’s lost Secret Service agent aims to figure it out once he accidentally stumbles into the weirdness.
The show has been getting more than a few comparisons to David Lynch’s cult hit Twin Peaks, and Shyamalan told Digital Spy they have no intentions to shy away from those connections. He joked that every actor in Wayward Pines is "acting like they’re in a David Lynch movie. For a reason." If nothing else, the initial trailers definitely evoke that vibe that Lynch nailed so perfectly.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Shyamalan project if we didn’t talk about the big twist. The director built his career on gimmicky twists but has never managed to escape that shadow in the years since The Sixth Sense. Turns out Wayward Pines will have a major twist, but they plan on dropping that bomb in episode five — which will allow the writers to play with the reveal and dig into the ramifications for the back half of the season:
"I felt like, I'm really enjoying the tone of teasing you, but I don't want to do that for nine episodes. I want to do that for four episodes and then give you the secret, tell you everything, and then the remaining five I want you to deal with what you know... That was what was really exciting for me, that was what the big challenge was. Because once you know, it's a different show…
Yeah. I don't like the whole 'twist' thing because half my movies have them, half don't. It's more [that] I liked how smart it was and - I don't want to give away too much - based in character, and important things that are meaningful. That felt like no gimmick, you know? That's why you could put it in the middle, and not at the end. It's not a gimmick, it's to be talked about and thought about.
[F]ox gave me a wide berth on this one, such a wide berth it felt scary. I've never done TV before. I literally didn't know what I was doing! But they were just like, 'It's you, whatever you want to do, we're going to do it'. And that turned into a very positive thing. My learning increased. So I was like, 'Ahhhh, I didn't get this right, can I pick it up with one more shoot?' And they were like, 'Yeah, yeah’."
Event series are all the rage these days, and despite a few flops in recent years, Shyamlan’s name is still a recognizable one. Wayward Pines premieres May 14 on Fox.
Do you think TV might be the medium to get Shyamalan’s career back on track?
(Via Digital Spy)