After spending a handful of years in the doghouse due to churning out truly terrible movies like The Happening and The Last Airbender, it seems like director M. Night Shyamalan is back. His 2015 movie The Visit helped, but it is his most recent movie Split that has really healed his damaged reputation. Since Split 2 is probably going to happen, there are a lot of questions, given the big reveal at the end of the first movie. One of those questions has seemingly been answered, because it looks like Samuel L. Jackson will be involved in the sequel.
Fair warning, this article will contain spoilers for Split. The actor recently spoke with Collider about Split and his potential involvement in the sequel. He revealed that even he didn't know about the ending, in which, it was revealed that Split and Unbreakable take place in the same universe, via a cameo by Bruce Willis' Unbreakable character David Dunn, who name-dropped Jackson's character Mr. Glass. While speaking with Collider, Samuel L. Jackson explained how he learned about what Shyamalan had up his sleeve and talked about his potential involvement. Here is what he had to say about his possible involvement in Unbreakable 2.
"I got a call and [Shyamalan] said, 'Call me I wanna talk to you about something.' And I called him, because I always do when I get a message from him always hoping [it's Unbreakable 2], and he said, 'I just did this film called Split, I want you to see it,' and I was like 'OK, I'm down with that.' I had no idea what Split was about or anything else, and he said, 'We'll talk after you see it.' So I went to the arranged screening and I called him immediately and was like, 'OK dude does this mean what I think it means?' and he was like, 'Well first we gotta see how the movie does'. And I think the movie's done well enough now to merit the 'OK, let's put this together.'"
M. Night Shyamalan has already revealed that he has completed a rather lengthy outline for Split 2/Unbreakable 2. He also revealed that the movie will sort of be both a sequel to Split and Unbreakable saying that it will be the final movie of a trilogy. The movie will include James McAvoy's character The Horde from Split, as well as both Bruce Willis' David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson's Mr. Glass from Unbreakable. Not only that, but it was also revealed that earlier drafts of the Split script had Dunn and Mr. Glass still battling in the background in the city. We knew that both James McAvoy and Bruce Willis would be on board, given that they both appeared in Split, but now we know for sure that Jackson is also game for Split 2, which is very good news. He even acknowledged that The Horde would be a worthy opponent.
"I think he's an adequate foe for what Bruce's Unbreakable character is in terms of him being sort of unbreakable too in that kind of way, and me having found now-fuck, that would be two people that Elijah would look at and go, 'Why are they so this and I'm so this on this end of the spectrum?' It's just a matter of breaking my ass out of wherever that mental institution was they had me locked up and let's get it on, let's see what happens!"
The big question will be whether or not the studio decides to move ahead with Split 2. As of this writing, Split has made a tremendous $173 million at the global box office working from a comparatively measly $9 million production budget. That makes the movie a big success for Universal, so they probably wouldn't turn away another movie in that universe if they can get it together. Samuel L. Jackson couldn't say for sure if Split 2 is definitely going to get the go-ahead, but he seemed to think that the math checks out. Here is what he said about it.
"I would look at the box office receipts from a film that cost what it cost him to make that movie and the success of that particular film in the form of saying, I think that might move forward."
Split 2/Unbreakable 2 seems to make a lot of financial sense and now we know for sure that Samuel L. Jackson is not only on board, but seemingly very enthusiastic about it. The ball is in the studio's court now, but money talks and it is very clear that there is money to be made here. We will be sure to keep you updated as more details on the project become available.