Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Split yet.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Split has turned into a genuine box office phenomenon, topping the charts for the third straight weekend. That in itself would no doubt prompt calls for a sequel, but the resolution of the movie suggested that writer-director Shyamalan had a follow-up in mind.
As we’ve already reported, Kevin Wendle Crumb, the lead character in Split, was originally included in Shyamalan’s script for Unbreakable, which introduced the heroic David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and the not-so-heroic Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), also known as Mr. Glass.
Shyamalan has acknowledged that he wants to make a third film in that cinematic universe and even told Entertainment Weekly about an outline he had begun, describing it as “a really robust outline, which is pretty intricate. But now the standards for my outlines are higher. I need to know I’ve won already. I’m almost there but I’m not quite there.”
Now the filmmaker has spilled another detail about the outline via social media.
I have an 11 page outline for my next film in my bag. I can’t tell you what it is, but If you’ve seen #Split…
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 4, 2017
How long do we have to wait to see it, though? Shyamalan has been noncommittal so far, telling The Hollywood Reporter that it will be “down the line.” Asked on the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Collider) a few weeks ago if the sequel would come next for him, however, he said: “I think so. I think It’s the next thing. Probably by its nature it needs to be kind of epic. The storyline that I’ve thought through feels very intricate.” His tweet above suggests that he’s ready and excited to make it his next project.
Shyamalan also said that he wants Willis, Jackson and McAvoy to all reprise their respective roles for the proposed sequel. It’s important to the filmmaker, though, that “this third movie needs to have its own idea. There has to be something about it that makes it its own movie.”
This all makes good sense. Shyamalan’s movies have sometimes been unable to stand on their own two feet without a twist ending; even Split suffers from this tendency to a degree as it races to its surprising conclusion. So we’ll be glad to wait a little bit longer if it means that the sequel could stand on its own, as Shyamalan intends.