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M. Night Shyamalan talks the 'very emotional' completion of his film trilogy

By Christian Long
Glass Samuel L. Jackson James McAvoy Bruce Willis

In anticipation of the release of Glass, which brings together characters from both Unbreakable and Split, the Alamo Drafthouse held a very special "Shyamalanathon," a marathon triple feature of all three films earlier today. Prior to the early look at Glass, M. Night Shyamalan made an appearance at the theater's Brooklyn location for a Q&A, which was simulcast to 25 locations across the U.S.

"It's been surprisingly emotional to finish this trilogy," Shyamalan told the audience, which included SYFY WIRE.

"I was very hesitant to actually come back to it," Shyamalan explained of his shared universe, particularly after Unbreakable's poor reception when it hit theaters in 2000. Though appreciation for the film has grown over time, the irony of being ahead of the curve when it came to comic book movies wasn't lost on him.

"When I made Unbreakable, the studio said, 'You can't make a comic book movie, no one's gonna come see it. That's just too niche.' That was Disney, actually," he added with a laugh.

Still, when looking back on the gestation of his project, Shyamalan said he wished that he'd trusted his instincts a bit more, but after living with these characters for so long, he's happy he was able to informally kick off the release of Glass as part of a fan-focused triple feature.

"This is what I wanna do. When we did The Visit, we screened it over and over at Comic-Con. Those guys supported it and brought it to the world. We did that [at the Alamo Drafthouse] with Split, and you guys sent the word out to the world. To some extent, I make these movies for you guys, this exact audience. This is where, for me, the release starts."

Since the Q&A was held prior to the preview screening of Glass, audiences weren't able to ask any specifics about the plot, so the writer/director was able to avoid giving out any outright spoilers. Still, he made it clear throughout the Q&A that this film will be the definitive end of the story he started more than 19 years ago. Good thing he's held onto those sequel rights to most of his films to make sure it stays that way.

Glass breaks its way into theaters on Friday, January 18.