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Following a dry spell of critical and commercial misfires, director M. Night Shyamalan is on a comeback tour with his latest suspense flick Split. The multiple personality thriller starring James McAvoy and The Witch breakout Anya Taylor-Joy is currently enjoying its third weekend atop the North American box office charts, with $98 million already in the bank – not bad for a film with a slim production budget of $9 million. More importantly, Split marks a critical and pop culture effort from Shyamalan, the likes of which the Oscar nominated filmmaker hasn’t seen since his 2002 blockbuster Signs.
Now comes early word that a sequel may be in the works and the early word comes from Shyamalan himself, who teased (via Twitter) this past weekend that he looks to readying a script for round two.
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
The film follows three girls kidnapped by a man with 23 different personalities and their pursuit of escape before the emergence of a frightening 24th starts to develop. Blumhouse Productions – led by micro-budget genre king Jason Blum – was behind the film with Universal Pictures serving as distributor. What’s more – and a mild spoiler for those you haven’t yet seen the chiller – Split appears to share an extended cinematic universe with Shyamalan’s previous thriller Unbreakable, something which may perhaps be further developed in round two. Shyamalan expressed to USA Today that he’s “pretty excited” about where its headed.
Shyamalan broke out with the Oscar nominated 1999 smash The Sixth Sense and has since directed the thrillers Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002) and The Village (2004). He stumbled with critics and audiences with The Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008) and The Last Airbender (2010), yet has bounced back with the well-received 2005 suspense film The Visit and the currently-in-theaters Split.
We shall stay tuned.