Night Strikes Again

by Laurance

 

One would be hard pressed to find an individual whose movies and career are built upon strange happenings more than writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. I have been a huge Night supporter/apologist since The Sixth Sense and considering the commercial flop that was Lady in the Water, which didn’t deserve the beating it got,  I was afraid one of America’s most creative and original artists might have made his last film. A couple of months ago this fear was almost made true as a script written by Shyamalan was rejected by every major studio. After taking notes from executives Night retreated to Philadelphia were he has re-written the script for The Happening (formerly The Green Effect) and apparently Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman/CEO Tom Rothman, was impressed because Fox has bought the rights with a projected 2oo8 release.The Happening will be Night’s first R-rated film which is a little ways off from his Disney days. The film explores what happens when nature has had enough and declares was on humanity. Through the earth’s flora and fauna toxins will be released in the air which will drive people to kill themselves in numerous violent ways. As in other Night films this one will focus on a specific family in the midst of a tragedy.

“Tom [Rothman] felt strongly about making this my first R-rated picture,” Shyamalan said. “We talked about trying to get the kind of intensity that is present in ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ and the kind that Guillermo del Toro got in `Pan’s Labyrinth.’ The impact of the beautiful things in that movie wouldn’t have landed as strongly if the film had not been R rated.”

Many critics and fans alike have said that Pan’s Labyrinth, which is a brilliant movie, is what Night wanted Lady in the Water to be. I guess they were right and maybe Night himself has realized this. To me, Night has always been a great director, but unfortunately has fallen victim to perceived flawed scripts and the mainstream wanting another Sixth Sense. I am pretty excited about this project and I hope that it brings Night out of his slump and back into the top echelon of filmmaking. Ok, I’ll stop with the love fest now.

Note: Night has also signed on to adapt Avatar: The Last Airbender to a live action film.

[Source: Variety]

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~ by laurance on March 7, 2007.

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