If someone ever builds a theme park based on Hollywood, then the biggest, craziest roller coaster will clearly be called the M. Night Shyamarang. The amount of ups and downs with this guy is unbelievable – and not just overall in his career, it seems like from day to day, you just never know what you’re going to get with him. And does anyone actually know what the “M” stands for anyhow?
The most recent run of Night’s one-man entertainment-business reality show came during his press tour for Wayward Pines, which is actually a very entertaining TV show that Shyamalan is exec-producing, along with having directed the pilot episode. Harkening back to his “glory days,” his first three films were truly phenomenal, and people have long asked for another foray into his not-really-superhero movie Unbreakable, which is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary this year. Those people may be in luck: in a recent interview with IGN, M. Night had this to say about the film and its tale:
“As a way continue the story…could you do a six-episode Unbreakable series on Netflix or HBO? Yeah! That’s cool. I even had an idea of doing a story that goes in one form, and a second part that’s in another form, and a third one’s in a different form. You never do the same form. It would be like, movie, then, let’s say, cable, to TV, whatever, and then a play; it goes straight online, and it finishes like that. It’s in four different forms, and it never goes back to the old one. It could be kind of cool.”
Before we all jump the gun too much here, it bears noting that Shyamalan himself is the one touting the Netflix/HBO series idea as his own, and at no time does he say that he’s actually been contact about the potential for a project. Maybe he’s just nervous because he heard about Patton Oswalt’s amazing pitch idea for an Unbreakable sequel.
In any case, it’s pretty clear that the television route is his current preferred route, as he continued:
“The bizarreness of sequels in film is a little bit of what’s going on with the power of TV. Once you’ve created a world and struggles and characters that we now connect with, again, that’s where the story begins. So that’s why sequels have become so powerful. In the old days, it just meant you were gouging them for more money. But it’s almost like every movie now wants to live, and we want to stay with the characters we’ve come to love.”
In continuing to speak with IGN, the big “M” then starts to get a little kooky. Somebody must have asked him a question about what I like to assumed people refer to as “The Great Sore Subject” behind his back – his film adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. He seems to go into full-on defense mode, making yet another excuse why the movie performed so poorly:
“It’s really weird because on the show the average age was, like, nine years old. My child was nine-years-old. So you could make it one of two ways. You could make it for that same audience, which is what I did — for nine and 10-year-olds — or you could do the Transformers version and have Megan Fox. I didn’t do that. That would have felt like, ‘Well, I’m going to make a movie about a kids show that my 10-year-old is watching and not make it for her. I make it for my guy friends.’ That felt like a betrayal of the innocence of the piece.”
It’s well-noted that Shyamalan has been making excuses about the movie for years; at various points, he has also blamed US audience’s for a perceived “European sensibility” and also claims that the vast majority of the population of Japan thinks that he is a “genius.”
Oh, and for the record: the “M” stands for Manoj, his original given birth name. “Night” is a name he made up in college. For himself. Y’know, because all the coolest kids give themselves the nicknames.