M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass is the highly-anticipated next installment in a connected series that began with Unbreakable (above) and continued with Split. The movie started production in Philadelphia this week and the director marked the occasion by sharing a photo on social media (see below).
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) October 2, 2017
Released 17 years ago, Unbreakable tells the story of David Dunn (Bruce Willis), an ordinary man who learns he has unusual powers. It also introduces Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a man with fragile bones who feels he has an unusual role to play in David’s life. In Split, we learn about Kevin (James McAvoy), a man with 23 distinct personalities. In Glass, we expect to see the connections between the three men to be more fully explored.
Behind the scenes, a rare new connection has also been forged, per The Hollywood Reporter. Unbreakable was released by Touchstone, a label of Disney, while Split was released by Universal. Shyamalan received permission from Disney to include David Dunn in Split for a cameo. Now the two studios will divide distribution rights. For moviegoers, it should be seamless. Universal will release the movie in the U.S., while BVI (Disney’s international distribution arm) will release it in other territories internationally.
Another behind the scenes change is also likely to be seamless to moviegoers. Based on the popular video game, Sonic the Hedgehog has been under development at Sony since 2014. Tim Miller, who directed Deadpool, boarded the project last year to oversee development, with the intention for his longtime collaborator Jeff Fowler to direct. Patrick Casey and Josh Miller were writing the script.
Now the project has moved to Paramount, according to THR. The same creative principals remain involved. Paramount’s plans are to combine live-action and animation. For fans, the good news is that the movie is still moving forward and that Paramount sees big potential in it.
Meanwhile, Netflix is seeking to shake up the distribution game with an upcoming release. The streaming service is in final talks with New Line to acquire distribution rights to the upcoming Shaft reboot. Deadline reports that Netflix will split production costs in exchange for the rights to debut the movie on its service in international territories just two weeks after it opens in theaters in the U.S.
Reportedly, the idea may set a pattern “for makers of urban-themed or genre fare that normally does most of its theatrical business in the United States.” This is different from blockbusters that see much bigger profits from overseas theatrical engagements. Transformers: The Last Knight, for example, made a modest $130 million in the U.S., but $475 million outside the U.S.
For moviegoers in the U.S., it shouldn’t mean any notable change. Those outside the U.S., though, will be deprived of the opportunity to see the untitled Shaft movie, starring Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence, above) and likely Samuel L. Jackson, in theaters.