Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan made a name for himself with a variety of horror movies, though the director often delved into other genres to deliver audiences exciting tales. His most recent film, Split, is a straightforward thriller, with the upcoming sequel Glass embracing the same thrilling tone as its predecessor despite it being a crossover with the less horrifying Unbreakable.
“For me, they’re almost a different genre, what we’re doing with Split, Unbreakable, and Glass,” Shyamalan shared with ComingSoon. “These are primarily thrillers and they’re very much more contained. They’re not CGI driven, they’re very simple and clean. The musculature that [comic book] movies have are not what we’re trying to do. The idea of what you don’t see is really what we’re insinuating, it’s the power of that.”
Shyamalan’s breakout film was The Sixth Sense in 1999, which told the story of a young boy who saw spirits all around him, leading to multiple terrifying sequences. With Unbreakable, many audiences expected another horrifying experience, though viewers ultimately saw the filmmaker’s compelling version of a superhero origin story.
The Bruce Willis-starring superhero story debuted before our current comic book renaissance, with Shyamalan claiming that studios wanted him to avoid embellishing the comic book themes of that film too heavily. While Glass might be more thrilling in tone, the filmmaker noted that he attempted to honor the aesthetics of comic books while creating the movie’s visual palette.
“The colors were very important obviously. Each character has their own color that they’re kind of drawn to,” the director detailed. “And so is the costume design, the production design and the DP–everyone is forced to use those colors and stay in those palettes. David is green and Elijah is purple and Kevin’s mustard. You’ll see that throughout the piece.”
Split focused on Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy), who has a fractured psyche and kidnapped young girls in service of one of his more treacherous personalities, The Beast. This resulted in the performer having to convey a number of characters, from a young boy to an older woman. Shyamalan teased that the actor’s performance in Glass might be even more impressive than what we saw in Split.
“You’ll really see a lot of personalities, James is ridiculous in this movie,” Shyamalan confessed. “He was amazing in Split and I think he’s even better in Glass.”
Glass lands in theaters on January 18, 2019.