With Fox’s Wayward Pines, director and executive producer M. Night Shyamalan is getting the kind of positive critical attention he hasn’t seen in years. Now, the auteur believes that TV might be the best format to continue the story of what many consider his best film, Unbreakable. As a quiet account of a man gradually discovering that he has superpowers, the movie has developed a fan base of people who think that superhero movies don’t necessarily need to end with an onslaught of pyrotechnics.
Shyamalan told IGN that, “as a way to continue the story, yes,” the idea of a TV show interests him. He elaborated in a way that mimics many of his films, by starting with a clear idea and refusing to stop until it’s completely muddled:
Could you do a six-episode Unbreakable series on Netflix or HBO? Yeah! That’s cool. I even had an idea of doing a story that goes in one form, and a second part that’s in another form, and a third one’s in a different form. You never do the same form. It would be like, movie, then, let’s say, cable, to TV, whatever, and then a play; it goes straight online, and it finishes like that. It’s in four different forms, and it never goes back to the old one. It could be kind of cool.
Whatever happens, Shyamalan wouldn’t want the story of Unbreakable to overstay its welcome:
We know the shows that went on too long, that started to vamp. So they degraded from the beauty of what they did. There’s obviously a favorite show that went on too long, and if it had been half as many seasons, we might consider it a classic of storytelling. But because they forced it into this thing…
It’s not clear if Shyamalan is speaking generally about this “favorite show” that went on too long or if he has a specific one in mind. Maybe The X-Files? Or Weeds? It also could be Twin Peaks. Perhaps the director who once had his characters run away from wind considers Nadine joining the cheerleading squad to be just too ridiculous.