M. Night Shyamalan, the director of movies with twist endings and the writer of the tiny mouse movie Stuart Little that does not have a twist ending, has announced the release dates of his next two movies. Not only that, but he confirmed which studio will distribute them.
The new movies will release on February 26, 2021 and February 17, 2023 respectively, according to Collider. Universal Pictures, which released Shyamalan’s last three movies–The Visit, Split, and Glass–will handle Shyamalan’s next two as well. Like his previous movies with Universal, Shyamalan will pay for them out of his own pocket, with Universal handling the distribution.
Universal described the new movies as “original thrillers,” but there is no other information available. People are speculating that the movies may be connected or part of the same universe, but there is no word on whether or not this is true.
Universal boss Peter Cramer said in a statement, “M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats. There is no one like him: he is a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, and we are honored that he has once again chosen Universal to be the home for his next two incredible projects.”
Shyamalan himself said, “There are wonderful studios out there, but Universal has made it a mandate to release original films. They are the best at finding an audience for new stories with unexpected tones. I believe original films are crucial to the longevity of the theatrical experience.”
Outside of these films, Shyamalan’s next project is the Apple TV+ series Servant. He directed multiple episodes of the show, which does not yet have a release date.
One reason why Shyamalan opts to finance his movies out of his own pocket is because when big studio money gets involved, directors like Shyamalan generally have to give up some amount of creative control. Shyamalan financing movies himself theoretically gives him more freedom.
For his latest movie, Glass, Shyamalan spent $20 million of his own money to get the movie made. That money was a combination of the earnings from his two most recent movies, Split and The Visit, as well as collateral from his 125-acre estate in Pennsylvania.
Shyamalan’s most iconic movie is perhaps 2000’s The Sixth Sense, for which he earned Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Writing.