Well, it’s really happening. A whole 16 years after M. Night Shyamalan gave us his magnum opus Unbreakable (sorry, Sixth Sense stans), the mercurial director will finally begin principal photography on its long-awaited sequel, Glass.
Glass will be the final installment in what has emerged as one of the unlikeliest franchises in recent memory. If you haven’t seen his 2016 thriller Split, we suggest you stop reading now. If you have, you’ll know that it ended by revealing that the story of James McAvoy’s superhuman villain Wendell Crumb, a.k.a. The Beast, shares a world with Bruce Willis’ blue-collar superhero David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson’s criminally insane Elijah Price, the two of whom squared off in Unbreakable.
In other words, Shyamalan has managed to create a comic book multi-verse without the benefit of pre-existing source material. Thanks to the unrelenting success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, studios have been clamoring to develop their own interlinked franchises, which means we’ll have to deal with various iterations of Transformers and Pirates of The Caribbean movies for the foreseeable future. But the fact that Shyamalan actually gets to make this film is proof that in IP-obsessed Hollywood, the most powerful weapon is still the human imagination.
One person who shares our excitement is Anya Taylor-Joy, the saucer-eyed actress who was kidnapped by Crumb in Split, and lived to tell the tale. After Shyamalan revealed that Taylor-Joy had “arrived for rehearsals,” the 21-year-old actress posted an image on Instagram of herself holding the top-secret Glass script. Scribbled on the back are the words “The broken are the more evolved,” which is a line spoken by McAvoy’s character in Split. “Bedhead and excitement. She’s back…” Taylor-Joy wrote underneath the image.
We still don’t know exactly how Taylor-Joy’s character will figure into the film’s plot, which will pit Dunn and The Beast against one another “in a series of escalating encounters,” while “Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.” It’s a safe bet that Taylor-Joy’s character will help Dunn in his efforts to defeat the Beast.
It’s also worth pointing out that Unbreakable alumni Charlayne Woodward, who played Price’s mom, as well as Treat Clark, who played Dunn’s son, have both signed on to reprise their roles in Glass. They’ll join franchise newcomer Sarah Paulson and the aforementioned principal cast in what’s quickly becoming one of the most anticipated films in a very long time.
Glass hits theaters on January 18, 2019.