M. Night Shyamalan’s latest effort Split hit theaters to worldwide acclaim in January and now the visionary director is already teasing his plans for an upcoming sequel to the film which is currently in development according to a tweet that Shyamalan shared over the weekend. Before we dive further into this article, let it be known that you’re entering spoiler territory for Split where we will be discussing the big reveal at the end. If you haven’t seen the movie, please go watch the movie and come back once you’ve given it a watch.
As it turned out, Split just so happens to be a stealth sequel to Shyamalan’s 2000 classic Unbreakable starring Bruce Willis. It was a rumor that had been floating around for quite some time after the film premiered at Fantastic Fest in September but no one knew for sure up until the initial press screenings in January. Now, it appears Shyamalan has begun early development on a follow-up to Split and already has an “11-page outline” in the bag. Check out the director’s tweet below.
I have an 11 page outline for my next film in my bag. I can't tell you what it is, but If you've seen #Split…
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 4, 2017
You’re probably wondering what’s next then, right? Will this become the M. Night Shyamalan cinematic universe? Quite possibly, but we’d like to think that the director is just adding to his already outstanding franchise. Speaking to ComingSoon, Shyamalan detailed the plans that he currently has which includes Willis’ David Dunn going head to head with Samuel L. Jackson’s Mr. Glass and James McAvoy’s Kevin.
“I have every intention of doing one more,” he said. “I can’t guarantee it because I’m a writer and I don’t really write for other people. The only reason I can’t guarantee it is because I don’t know what the demons are going to do when I get into the room. They may shut me down. They may not come out. I think the reason I’ve never done a sequel and never even been interested is because I don’t like knowing. I want to tell you a new story each time. I don’t know if those things are going to grab me and freeze me, but I have every intention of doing that. I’m hoping I don’t freeze up.”
He continued, “I think the Unbreakable world is about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. That’s kind of Elijah’s thesis. That excites me when we’re talking about maybe another one. What would Elijah’s reaction be to Kevin Wendell Crumb? He’d be like, ‘I knew it!’” Per what Shyamalan seems to be saying, it appears Willis is totally comfortable with taking on the role of David Dunn once again. Now it’s just matter of getting this thing into production.
Taika Waititi signs on to direct ‘Thor 4’ as the live-action ‘Akira’ movie gets delayed indefinitely
In a move that will force him to put the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of Akira on the backburner indefinitely, Taika Waititi has officially closed a deal to direct Thor 4 for Marvel Studios, sources tell Silver Screen Beat.
The development is a rather surprising one considering Akira — which has been in development at Warner Bros. ever since the studio acquired the rights to the popular Japanese manga in 2002 — was as close as it ever was to getting made.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, pre-production on Akira had been moving along smoothly — despite some concerns with the script that were later resolved — and Waititi had been meeting with and testing young Japanese actors for roles in the film as part of a worldwide search for talent.
But now that the project has experienced yet another major setback, execs can only hope that Waititi will pick up where he left off once he completes Thor 4, which will once again see Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as the titular God of Thunder.
Waititi is currently prepping to hop on the fall festival circuit with his World War II-era satire Jojo Rabbit, which he wrote, directed, and stars in alongside Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, and Sam Rockwell. Fox Searchlight will release the film on October 18.
Warner Bros.’ live-action ‘Barbie’ movie taps Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach as writers
As Greta Gerwig prepares to debut her sophomore effort Little Women on the fall festival circuit in the coming months, the Oscar-nominee has been tapped to co-write and possibly direct Warner Bros.’ live-action Barbie movie.
Gerwig will pen the script for Barbie along with Noah Baumbach, while Gerwig is also likely to helm the high-profile project, though negotiations are still underway and no deals have been finalized as of yet.
Margot Robbie, who is on board to star as the iconic Mattel toy, will also serve as a producer on the film along with Tom Ackerly for LuckyChap Entertainment and Robbie Brenner of Mattel Films. Josey McNamara and Ynon Kreiz are also producing.
Gerwig is currently in post-production on her star-studded Little Women adaptation for Columbia. The film, which is expected to be a strong contender in the forthcoming awards season race, stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep.
Baumbach, who last directed The Meyerowitz Stories, is also in post-production on his untitled dramedy for Netflix starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple who are getting divorced. The cast also includes Dern, Merritt Wever, Ray Liotta, Alan Alda, and Azhy Robertson.
Damien Chazelle shops new project ‘Babylon’ to studios as Emma Stone circles lead role
Damien Chazelle, the Oscar-winning writer-director of the 2016 musical La La Land, has begun shopping around the script for his next project titled Babylon, which is yet another story set in Los Angeles that will this time focus on the film industry in the 1920s.
While multiple studios have shown interest in the project — including Paramount and Netflix — Chazelle is most likely to bring Babylon to Lionsgate, the same studio that distributed La La Land and ran its extensive awards season campaign that earned the film a whopping 14 Oscar nominations.
Although specific plot details are being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, the film is said to be a drama set during the Roaring Twenties that examines Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies and will feature characters both fictional and not.
Emma Stone, who an Oscar for performance opposite Ryan Gosling in La La Land, is circling the lead role in the film — which is rumored to be iconic Hollywood “It” girl Clara Bow — though talks are still preliminary and any type of formal negotiations have yet to get underway.
Despite the attention that Babylon has caught, though, studios are hesitant to move on the project given its rather lengthy 180-page-long script and estimated $80 million to $100 million production budget, which some execs feel might be too big of a risky investment for their studios.
Chazelle, who last directed the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man starring Gosling, is currently working on two other projects in addition to Babylon, including the musical drama series The Eddy for Netflix and an untitled drama series for Apple’s forthcoming service service.