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M. Night Shyamalan Almost Connected This 2015 Horror Film To His Unbreakable Universe

The director nearly included a scene folding another film into his story-verse…but he 'chickened out.’

By Benjamin Bullard
Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) watches Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) stand in the hallway in The Visit (2015).

The thriller Glass marked the end of the long-developing M. Night Shyamalan movie trilogy that tells a dark, different kind of superhero story. Beginning with 2000’s Unbreakable and continuing with 2016’s Split, Shyamalan’s 2019 closing film almost included a surprise scene that would have made things even more interesting.

If the director by his own admission hadn’t “chickened out” of the idea, a fourth film from Shyamalan’s past catalog would also have been folded into the small movie mini-verse that Unbreakable originally spawned. Shyamalan said a Glass scene he ultimately decided not to film would have extended the Unbreakable trilogy to include a pair of sinister characters from his 2015 creepy flick The Visit (streaming now on Peacock), he told The Hollywood Reporter.

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Asked if he’d ever considered making his films, which frequently have been set in Philadelphia, into a shared-universe cycle revolving around the City of Brotherly Love, Shyamalan answered that in hindsight it’s a choice he wishes he'd have made.

“If I was smart enough to have thought about it 20 some years ago, I would’ve done it, but I wasn’t smart enough to think about it,” he confessed. “There was one tie-in that I almost did. It was in Glass when they all got to the mental institution. I was going to tell a story about The Visit and how two people escaped from that same hospital.”

Welp, that definitely would have explained a lot. For those who’ve seen The Visit, it’s not tough to deduce which duo the director had in mind as the Glass institution’s would-be escapees of legend. That ignominious honor would’ve gone to the demented husband-and-wife couple who extend a home away from home to The Visit's pair of young protagonists, posing as the never-before-seen grandparents the kids tracked down online for what turns out to be a harrowing first-time house call.

“I was going to do it,” said Shyamalan of linking The Visit’s elderly imposters with Glass and the rest of the Unbreakable cinematic universe, “but I chickened out. So I didn’t do it.”

Fair enough. But now that we have the idea in our heads, it’s an un-filmed addition to Shyamalan’s superhero movie canon that we simply can’t unsee…kind of like the sight that awaits the kids in The Visit when they finally break the rules and venture downstairs into the movie’s fatefully frightening basement.

Stream Shyamalan's The Visit right now on Peacock.