Universal Pictures unveiled the first major trailer of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con on Friday with a full look at M. Night Shyamalan’s highly anticipated Glass. Shyamalan, a filmmaker known for his clever twists, delivered his greatest one yet at the end of 2016’s Split. The James McAvoy starrer was revealed to be a follow-up to Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (2000) and went on to gross $278.5 million worldwide on a $9 million budget.
Shyamalan’s plans for a concluding chapter became clear after Split’s success, and moviegoers were rewarded with the knowledge that a trilogy many once believed would never come to fruition would finally be complete. While Unbreakable wasn’t met with the instant success of his previous film, The Sixth Sense (1999), Shyamalan’s deconstruction of the American superhero/villain complex by way of an intricate and restrained thriller has become a cult classic over the years. In the midst of the current explosion of superhero movies, Shyamalan’s films are more prescient than ever. Uniting the casts of Unbreakable and Split, Glass sees Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy team up for what may be Shyamalan’s most complex film yet.
True to form, Shyamalan’s trailer opens by grounding us in the real world. The film’s stakes are introduced by a character new to Shyamalan’s world, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychologist who specializes in treating patients with delusions of being superheroes and villains. She says that it’s a growing field, and we learn that her patients are none other than Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) and David Dunn (Bruce Willis). When we last saw Crumb and Dunn, both men were free, seemingly headed toward an inevitable conflict with each other. How they end up in the care of Dr. Staple remains to be seen. Given that Shyamalan is known for his aesthetics and telegraphing his themes through visuals, it’s worth noting that Crumb is placed between Price and Dunn, not only highlighting Split’s placement within the trilogy, but also Crumb’s psychological predicament of being caught between heroism and villainy as a result of his multiple personalities.
In the years since the events of Unbreakable, David Dunn has furthered embraced his role as a costumed hero, a job he describes as being “in security.” It will be interesting to see whether Dunn has only…
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