Following the modest success of M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit, Universal Pictures has set a January 20, 2017 release date for the director's next project, now entitled Split. As of now, Split is the first movie to claim the January 20, 2017 release date, but it is currently surrounded by a slew of high-profile projects. Opening on January 13, 2017 is Sony's The Dark Tower, Paramount's Friday the 13th, Warner Bros.' Geostorm, Lionsgate's Power Rangers and 20th Century Fox's Hidden Figures. One week later, on January 27, 2017, Sony will release Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
No plot details have been given yet, but The Wrap describes the story as a suspense thriller with supernatural elements at play. James McAvoy has already signed on to star, alongside Haley Lu Richardson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley and Jessica Sula. It isn't known when production may begin, but it seems the project is moving forward rapidly. This project is believed to be one of the untitled projects Blumhouse originally set for release on January 27, 2017.
M. Night Shyamalan is directing from his own script, and the filmmaker will reunite with producer Jason Blum. Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider are set to executive produce. M. Night Shyamalan and Jason Blum's first collaboration was last month's The Visit, which earned a respectable $63.9 million domestically and $89.2 million worldwide, from just a $5 million budget. No budget figures were given for Split, but with Blumhouse on board, it will probably fall within the same range as The Visit.
Prior to The Visit, M. Night Shyamalan was responsible for two big budget misfires. 2013's After Earth actually earned less than The Visit domestically ($60.5 million), and The Last Airbender earned $319.7 million worldwide from a $150 million budget, but was trashed by critics nationwide. The Visit brought the filmmaker back to his roots in the thriller genre, a path he will continue to follow once again with Split.
It will be interesting to see if any of the aforementioned projects set for January 13, 2017 will eventually be moved out of that highly-crowded date, perhaps moving one week later, giving Split some competition. We'll have to wait and see how the studios react to this news, but until then, are you excited that M. Night Shyamalan is teaming up with Jason Blum once again? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more updates on Split.