Director M. Night Shyamalan Addresses Shared Cinematic Universe Theory

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M. Night Shyamalan’s earliest films delivered audiences unexpected twists and turns in their final scenes, earning him a reputation for shocking audiences with all of his narratives, though arguably the biggest reveal he offered viewers came in the final moments of his 2017 film Split, in which he revealed that the seemingly standalone adventure was actually a continuation of his 2000 film Unbreakable. Shyamalan concluded this narrative with 2019’s Glass, yet this development caused a number of fans to wonder if all of his films unfolded in the same universe, even if the characters never crossed paths with one another. Despite such theories, Shyamalan refuted that notion, confirming there wasn’t any sort of “M. Night Shymalan Cinematic Universe.” His latest film, Old, hits theaters on July 23rd.

“I don’t think of it that way,” Shyamalan confirmed to ComicBook.com when asked about his films’ interconnected nature. “Although, sometimes I get a kick out of trying to think of referencing something else that happened from another movie, but that would be disingenuous because, honestly, I think of them more in that Twilight Zone thought process of each one is its own discernible thing. They’re not related. In this world, this is what happens, and in this world, people realize they’re comic book characters, and we just move on to the next one.”

The new film is described, “This summer, visionary filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan unveils a chilling, mysterious new thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly … reducing their entire lives into a single day.”

Shyamalan went on to note how, despite most of his films falling under the umbrella of the horror genre, he still uses these specific and disconnected narratives to explore themes and tones one might not expect from him.

“Whenever I have some hankering to work on a romance or a comedy, I just incorporate it into the style of genre that I’m doing,” the filmmaker expressed. “So The Visit would be my desire to be more comedic. In general, these movies, the dark humor aspect of it, I’ve had more opportunity in these four movies to do that and I love that, that opportunity. For example, like Old, I wanted to talk about romance a little bit so there’s that [which] we’ve woven through.”

Old lands in theaters on July 23rd.

Are you looking forward to the new film? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!

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