Even though he reportedly had to leave a big chunk of Glass on the cutting room floor to fit the film into a two-hour runtime, M. Night Shyamalan has no intention of continuing his Unbreakable superhero character arc beyond a movie trilogy — at least anytime soon.
Describing Glass as “without a doubt, the most difficult movie” he’s ever filmed, Shyamalan told Digital Spy recently that he’s only interested in sequels that offer fans something new from a thematic point of view, and doesn’t want to extend a franchise simply because of its popularity.
“I don't want to relive stuff and I don't want to be an opportunist; that's not the relationship that I have with the audience, that I aspire to,” he explained.
“My aspiration is they know they're going to get an original thriller every single time. That's where my tastes go, so I'm going to say no [to a Glass sequel] right now.”
Glass will be the first film in the Unbreakable trilogy that gets all three of its conflicted players — Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price (aka Mr. Glass), Bruce Willis as David Dunn, and James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb (and his many personae) — on screen at the same time.
In keeping with Shyamalan’s focus on making each film in the series an “original thriller,” there’s been a world of difference between Unbreakable and Split, the first two films in the trilogy — so much so that even studio executives at Universal Pictures were shocked to discover that Willis’ David Dunn inhabited the same movie universe as McAvoy’s Crumb / The Horde, when Dunn turned up at the end of Split.
One thing that won’t change from the previous films, though, are the real-world laws that govern what Glass’ heroes can and can’t do. “Each of the movies, we take a little bit of privilege, but not so much that anybody's flying or there's lasers or fire coming out of your hand,” Shyamalan explained. “Can you bend an iron pipe? I'm not sure, I don't know. I think I've seen a weightlifter do that, so it's right on the edge of those things.”
Starring Jackson, Willis, McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, and Anya Taylor-Joy, Glass breaks into theaters everywhere beginning Jan. 18.