It turns out M. Night Shyamalan had no shortage of ideas when it came to crafting Glass, the upcoming sequel to Unbreakable and Split. With the movie set to arrive in theaters next month, the director has started to make the press rounds in order to promote the highly-anticipated conclusion to his unconventional superhero trilogy. During a recent interview, Shyamalan revealed that his original cut was over three hours long. Here's what he had to say about it.
"The script was really long, it was almost 150 pages and the first cut of the movie was 3 hours and 20 minutes, it was really long. Then it started tightening [and] tightening until we got to the 2.08 that you can see."
It's not uncommon for first cuts to be much longer than what ultimately makes it to screen. As for what was cut out? According to M. Night Shyamalan, much of it had to do with not rehashing what had already been done in previous movies. For example, some of the stuff with James McAvoy's Kevin Wendell Crumb, aka The Beast. To make his point, the filmmaker pointed to a scene that's been teased in the trailer, featuring the Split character with a new group of kidnapped girls.
"All she needs to go is, 'My name is Patricia' and you're there. That's a much longer scene in the screenplay where you're reliving the humour and the relationship and the connection to the girls and even realising she has multiple personalities."
Unbreakable was released back in 2000 and, by the time Glass hits theaters, it will have been 19 years between installments. So it's understandable that he perhaps felt the need to rehash some of what came before to set up the events of this third movie. However, as Shyamalan explains, his pitch to the studios was something that fits well into the modern movie landscape, even without the previous movies.
I said to [rights owners] Disney and Universal, 'Pretend there's no previous movies and I came to you and I said that I want to make a movie about a hospital that treats people who believe they're superheroes and three of their patients escape.' I want to make you that movie, will you make that movie? Oh and by the way, it stars Bruce Willis, Sam Jackson, James McAvoy and Sarah Paulson. Will you make that movie?' Yes, you'll make that movie... Person XYZ who hasn't seen the other two will come to see that."
Indeed, given the obsession moviegoers have with comic book movies, and the cast that has been assembled, this seems appealing all on its own. But the fact that Split was a massive success, earning rave reviews on its way to $278 million at the box office, there are lots of fans of this franchise who are going to turn up to see how this all plays out. Glass is set to arrive in theaters on January 18, 2019. This news was first reported by Digital Spy.