May 30, 2017

M. Night Shyamalan shopping a supernatural, missing child thriller?

By Sean O’Connell We have a tendency nowadays to look ahead to a director’s next picture before their latest film even hits theaters. Don’t tell us about “Inception,” Mr. Nolan. We want to know about “Batman 3!”

M. Night Shyamalan currently is receiving this treatment. His latest, a live-action adaptation of “The Last Airbender,” is this summer’s big July 4 opening, which usually is reason enough to stop all presses and shine a white-hot spotlight on the movie in question.

But all week, we’ve been fielding nuggets of information regarding Night’s next picture. We’re an impatient bunch. Bruce Willis, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bradley Cooper quietly have been attached to the writer-director’s recently written screenplay, which is being shopped around. This morning, Slash Film has details of the secretive plot. Cooper, according to the site, would play a distressed father searching for his missing child. But somehow, the character would be able to tap into supernatural powers to aid his search.

Night is no stranger to supernatural angles in storytelling, having touched on aliens in “Signs” and weather-related something-or-others in “The Happening.” (Yeah, I’ll admit, I didn’t quite get the threat in “Happening,” and had no interest in exploring further.)

Truthfully, when I hear Shyamalan and Willis are re-teaming, I want it to be for an “Unbreakable” sequel. Maybe if this film connects with an audience, that project will find its way into Night’s pipeline.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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