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M. Night Shyamalan's first cut of Glass was over 3 hours long

Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Universal Pictures

The pressure to make movies that cater to the masses is ever-present in Hollywood. Figuring out how to do that while telling an intimate story is a daunting task, as director M. Night Shyamalan found out while working on his new film, Glass.

Initially, the script contained scenes that would recap important events from Unbreakable and Split to help the audience piece together information (and characters) that they may not have seen before, or may have forgotten since those two films were released. However, a lot of that ended up getting scrapped, and Shyamalan put his faith in the audience to fill in the missing pieces and keep up with the film’s plot themselves.

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While reflecting on editing Glass down to its official runtime of 2 hours and 8 minutes, Shyamalan tells Digital Spy that, “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.” He adds, “all she needs to go is, ‘My name is Patricia,’ and you’re there.”

On approaching Disney and Universal with this decision, Shyamalan says he asked them to, “‘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?”

Hitting theaters on January 18, 2019, Glass stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, and Sarah Paulson.

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