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'Knock at the Cabin's M. Night Shyamalan says he 'probably' won't ever make another sequel
Those pesky franchises are more trouble than they're worth.
Throughout his directing career, M. Night Shyamalan has only made two sequels — Split (2016) and Glass (2019) — both of which served as follow-ups to 2000's Unbreakable. As we know, The Last Airbender (2010) and After Earth (2013) were both intended to kick off multi-movie franchises, but the less said about those projects, perhaps the better.
In any case, it sounds like Shyamalan has had his fill of interconnected storytelling across different productions. "I probably wouldn't [do another sequel]," the filmmaker told ComicBook.com while discussing his latest movie, Knock at the Cabin (now playing in theaters). "Originally, Unbreakable was supposed to be a trilogy, so that's the way I thought of it, as a long story. Beyond that, not really."
His rationale has nothing to do with sticking it to the big studios and their blockbuster properties — it simply comes down to a preference for cinematic material no one has seen before. "I enjoy originals too much. I have so many ideas I want to tell," added the writer/director, who has been self-financing his own pictures for close to a decade. "It's just sad to go back. I'd rather challenge and start from scratch with you every single time and say, 'Here's a new idea with a new flavor.'"
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Shyamalan explained his risk-averse business model to Collider in 2021, stating that leaner budgets mean less risk:
"Because we’re doing it at such a small price, we’re going to be okay no matter what. So we can make the most interesting art. I don’t have to think about some equation of safety. I don’t have to think about that. I believe the flip happens where the audience can feel that it’s different. That there is no safety valves on it. There is no safety guard rails on it. They can feel that there is no supervision and it’s this kind of free-spirited thing. I believe audiences can feel that and that’s why they’ve been coming to these movies."
Now playing in theaters everywhere, Knock at the Cabin opened at the top of the domestic box office this past weekend with $14.2 million, effectively unseating Avatar: The Way of Water. The film is based on Paul Tremblay's Bram Stoker Award-winning novel from 2018, The Cabin at the End of the World. Click here to purchase tickets.
Looking for more horror to make your spine tingle and blood curdle? You can currently catch Jordan Peele's NOPE on Peacock. Plus, don't miss SYFY's hit horror series Chucky, which was just picked up for a third season.