After a string of flops that did some damage to his sterling reputation, M. Night Shyamalan seems poised for a comeback with his thriller The Visit this fall. It must be pretty good, because it's convinced one of his more famous collaborators to reunite with the innovative, yet much maligned, filmmaker. Though, at this time, there is not much more to go on than the talent behind the project.
After appearing in M. Night Shyamalan's third blockbuster smash Signs in 2002, Joaquin Phoenix was quick to rejoin the director for 2004's The Village. But that thriller was the first sign that interest was starting to wane in M. Night Shyamalan, and some of the magic was drifting away. The pair haven't made a movie since, with more than ten years passing. Now, the duo are ready to reunite for an untitled project. Though it isn't know if this will be a thriller, a sci-fi adventure or another family film.
M. Night Shyamalan and Joaquin Phoenix are locked in negotiations right now. And anyone who followed Joaquin Phoenix through his Marvel ordeal as they tried to sign him for Doctor Strange know that nothing with the actor is a done deal. The hope is for the pair to start shooting the movie this November. Production will take place in M. Night Shyamalan's hometown of Philadelphia, where most (but not all) of his movies infamously take place.
The Untitled Joaquin Phoenix/M. Night Shyamalan Movie will also reunite M. Night Shyamalan with low budget producer extraordinaire Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions. They last collaborated on The Visit, which arrives in theaters September 11 and promises to be a hit. Marc Bienstock will co-produce alongside executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.
Staying in step with his always mysterious style, M. Night Shyamalan refuses to spill any of the scecrets behind this unique new project that puts Joaquin Phoenix back in the role of leading man. The movie will be another low budget thriller, in line with the The Visit's $5 million budget, which was fully financed by the director himself. For comparison, one of M. Night Shyamalan's more notorious flops, Paramount's The Last Airbender, cost a whopping $150 million.
The Untitled Joaquin Phoenix/M. Night Shyamalan Movie is not set up at a studio yet, but it's likely that it will go to Universal Studios, the same studio that is releasing The Visit. That movie follows a pair of children who discover their grandparents aren't quite what they seem. Buzz is strong, and follows M. Night Shyamalan's hit summer series Wayward Pines, which debuted in June. It was a ratings winner for Fox. Will the Untitled Joaquin Phoenix/M. Night Shyamalan Movie prove to be another hit, keeping M. Night Shyamalan's career on the upswing? Perhaps, if he can refrain from any more giant blockbuster movies.