EDITORIALS

M. Night Shyamalan's Trouble in Hollywood - Will The Happening Hit Big?

by
June 3, 2008
Source: New York Times

M. Night Shyamalan

With the release of M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening only weeks away, discussion has begun again on Shyamalan, his films, and his reputation. One of our most popular posts ever was one about What Happened To The Great M. Night Shyamalan?. The New York Times recently published a piece addressing this issue again, but this time they actually involved Shyamalan himself. The discussion seems to focus on Shyamalan's separation from Hollywood and continued attempt to still make films the way he wants without studio influence. Unfortunately I'm predicting The Happening is going to flop next weekend against The Incredible Hulk, but at least it's still refreshing to hear Shyamalan talk about his persistence.

"I have two options: conform to the paths that have been laid out prior to me or deal with it… So which one do you suggest I do? I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't denied those conventions to begin with." I actually admire his unyielding attitude towards the Hollywood system. And I do agree with Shyamalan in that Unbreakable was definitely mishandled and poorly marketed, however I don't feel like that was necessarily the start of his downfall. He's still making films that stay true to his spirit and definitely show his filmmaking prowess, but not everything is bound to hit with audiences like The Sixth Sense did. In fact, Shyamalan even made two other forgotten films before he made Sixth Sense, named Praying with Anger and Wide Awake, which goes to show that not everyone always makes one great movie after another.

"The Happening does draw back in its intentions to what Night first did in The Sixth Sense. It speaks more directly and clearly to that genre than some of his previous films," asserts New Regency chairman Hutch Parker, who worked on The Happening with M. Night. This is Shyamalan's first R rated feature to date, but it still dwells on terrifying and horrific occurrences. And the big question is whether this change will be too big of a shock for audiences or whether they'll appreciate what Shyamalan has done. As I said originally, my concern is that if The Happening does flop, Hollywood will look at it as a prime example of what happens when you let a director do what they want and fight what they believe is right. Which is unfortunate because although it might end up being a great film, too many bad apples have already ruined its potential, including early script leaks.

Paramount's president John Lesher adds, "He's collaborative, open to suggestions and wants to make a hit movie. He's open in the right way. You want a filmmaker who has passion and want him to defend why he believes something is correct." In a world where we see news like Warner Brothers reshooting Where the Wild Things Are on their own all too often, it is actually good to hear that a director is defending his own values. And maybe this actually means The Happening could turn out great. I've got high hopes and I've got a warm fuzzy feeling that maybe Shyamalan's latest will actually be something incredible, along the lines of Unbreakable or Signs. Only time will tell, but it sounds like even M. Night is sure Hollywood has screwed this one up again.

What I'm actually most worried about is that M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening will debut as a flop and he won't be given another opportunity to pull himself out of this ditch. I think he does have some more great films in him, he's just in a downward spiral and The Happening isn't going to help. Maybe when he's finally put back on a small budget with limitations and constraints he'll really begin to shine again. I just hope that he can get to that pointed and isn't killed once and for all this summer. I really don't want to see Shyamalan fade away, which is why I'm both concerned and excited for The Happening. You can read the full article on M. Night Shyamalan over at NYTimes.com. Does The Happening still have the potential to hit it big or is it a guaranteed flop?

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  • Shyamalan is in a ditch because he believes too much of his own hype. After the success of The Sixth Sense, he immediately proclaimed himself the next Hitchcock or Spielberg and, frankly, he hasn't paid his dues to make that comparison. Hollywood doesn't care if you don't "play by the rules" so long as you make them money in the end. With Lady in the Water being a critical and financial flop, Shyamalan was put on notice. If "The Happening" doesn't find an audience, it'll be much more difficult for him to make another movie. I think Shyamalan is a talented director, but he needs to get over himself and maybe give the horror genre a rest. He's become synonymous for being "the twist guy" - accurate or not. Audiences are on guard for it and expect that from his movies now. He *thinks* he's playing by his own rules, but he's really trapped by his own reputation. He needs to take a step outside of himself. Try filming someone else's screenplay for once. Quit pushing his name as a brand. Sink a couple of quality films and then go back to doing what he loves. Show the world what they're missing and they'll welcome you back with open arms.
  • Spider
    Shymalan is pretty talented. His biggest problem is his ego. No one should ever proclaim themselves as superior or naming themselves as the next "whatever". Too much pride and an inflated ego can quickly bring someone down no matter who they are. He needs to just chill, relax and just do what he loves to do and not try too hard to outdo himself every time. I agree with Tom (#1), if he just steps outside his box and collaborates with others and doesn't shove his name above every title, he just might recapture success--the right way!
  • THE HAPPENING is destined to flop. R-rated horror in the summer I would say is guaranteed to flop but look at THE STRANGERS. However, HAPPENING has a MUCH larger budget and people might have had their fill of horror after seeing THE STRANGERS that will only be in it's third week of release. Also, early audience reaction has been absolutely DREADFUL and another bad sign is that this will NOT BE SCREENED for critics, or at least in time for them to write reviews (similar to what happened to THE RUINS). Lastly there is a pretty bad story going around how in the movie there is a sign where Wahlberg apologizes to a plant and then finding out that it is fake. Lots of stuff working against it and not much for it, if any.
  • Shymalan still makes movies? I didn't even know LADY IN THE WATER came out in the theaters. The real worry is whether Marky Mark starring in a high profile bomb will negatively affect his future movies...
  • sam
    im not going to write paragraphs on this topic but M. Night Shyamalan is one of my favorite film makers and i think this movie will be great...
  • Darrin
    i would be honest im in the hulk zone but to be honest i dont care if the happening flops at the box office all i want to know if the film is good. After seeing the village and the signs this guy knows what freaky means.Besides everything the red band trailer looks amazing. Hell, i still want to see The Incredible Hulk.
  • I'm way more interested in The Happening than Hulk and will definitively be seeing it at the cinema.
  • dac_fan
    HULK SMASH
  • SmartGuy
    The greatness of his films are directly proportionate to how much screen-time he has(the less the better). This said, when following this rule. His works can be some really amazing films.
  • Jesse
    I want unbreakable 2
  • John D.
    Shyamalan is a talented director with a keen eye for characters, but his habit of hinging a good story on a half-assed plot twist makes it easy for the entire film to crumble when exposed to logic. Honestly, I love how the man works and I'm always rooting for him to do well, but if The Happening retains the same original ending from the leaked script, I almost guarantee that there will be backlash. "The real worry is whether Marky Mark starring in a high profile bomb will negatively affect his future movies…" Not likely. These films are branded as Shyamalan films so if it flops, Mark will be fine.
  • Pickle
    I think this movie has a shot at becoming a hit--especially over time. The biggest drawback, besides being an M. Night Shymalan film is that it's being released on the same day as the hulk!
  • Garrett.king
    Shyamalan has always been a favorite of mine and I haven't seen a film of his that I've been disappointed with, even The Village which is my least favorite, is still a fine film in my opinion. Not sure what the naysayers are on about. I've never sensed a huge ego in him, and I do see him as way better than Hitchcock and Spielberg. I have absolutely no interest in The Hulk or any incarnation of him. And honestly, nothing that Mark Wahlberg has ever been in has seemed the least bit interesting...until I saw the trailer for The Happening. That's my take on it. Anyone else supporting M. Night?
  • Daniel
    however you cut it, CGI Hulk is a HORRIBLE excuse for movie making Shyamalan is an 'original' director. You don't see many original movies out there anymore. That's what makes me so worried about this group of people that call themselves movie lovers. You love the money makers just as much as the studios do! YOU ARE ONE IN THE SAME
  • Garrett.king
    well put Daniel.
  • chris
    the problem has less to do with hollywood rules and more to do with a lack of talent.
  • Bruce Willis
    I have watched an advanced screening of the happening and it will flop big time. It was dumb, and it was full of political agendas. I thought maybe Al Gore had a hand in making this movie, you will too when you see what it is that people are so afraid of and when you see what "the happening" is in the film.
  • Garrett.king
    one mans trash is another mans treasure. so are the rules of filmmaking.
  • Steven Ormsbee
    Can anyone explain to my why Shyamalan's problem is his "ego"? Does anyone have any proof that he is the cocky bastard that everyone seems to be making him out to be? He seems like a very legit filmmaker to me, trying to tell stories that are captivating and powerful to him. He doesn't care if his film "flops" with the critics, and the only reason I think he cares about his film doing well at the box office is that he knows that to make another movie that lots of people will go and see, he has to play by Hollywood's rules. If this movie doesn't do well, Shyamalan will just start doing more independent films on his own (which honestly might be a better idea for him in the first place, so he can do exactly what he wants and not have to cater to "the suits"). He's too original and creative of an artist to let his talent and his craft go to waste. And believe it or not, he has enough people that believe in him to go on and keep making films even if The Happening doesn't do what the studio wants it to do at the box office... And since when did any Director have every single one of his films be critically acclaimed and do well at the box office? People have such high expectations for him nowadays it's just ridiculous.
  • St.Clair
    My issue with Shyamalan has always been very simple: his 120 minute movies would have made fine 30 minute Twilight Zone episodes.
  • Brian
    I want "The Happening" to be good actually. I want something different from him though. No matter what movie he's done the lines feel delivered in the same for each. I get hes trying to create a brand for himself. He wants people to say "hey this feels like and M. Night film" but he needs to take care that they are not saying that in the same vein as "Hey, this feels like a Uwe Bol film". Bad example but you get what I'm saying. M. Night could actually have his pet hamster write and direct his next film and it would be way better than anything Uwe puts out. My point is he needs to change his style a bit. Change it up.
  • Fisherman
    Personally I have enjoyed all of his films, my least favorite was the Village, but I was still entertained. I hope this does well. He's one of my favorites.
  • brian
    The script reads like it was written by a fifth-grader. So if he really wrote it, his career is over. unless The Ego decides to let himself stoop to the level of directing other people's work. (Never happen) So...his career is over. Thank god. The script is so bad, there's no doubt his career is over.
  • brian
    hey, Steve Ormsbee... If you took the time to watch an interview or read an interview...ANY interview... You would see the proof that he's an unfettered walking ego. Read any book about him or about one of his movies and go back and do your research. There is copious proof that THE EGO has a really big ego. So...don't post until you know.
  • Nettle
    #24: I agree. It's also really assholish that he puts himself in the movie. It was ok for Jon Favreau, but Shyamalan thinks he's a good actor, and he's not. Plus, does anyone know what is happening in The Happening? I feel that I'm going to get to the end and be very pissed if I don't get an answer or if it's lame. If it's a virus or aliens I'm out.
  • Steven Ormsbee
    First off, can we not ruin the ending of the movie on this site? Just out of respect for those of us that are actually going to see the film...that'd be great. Also, why is it "assholish" to put yourself in your own movie? So I take it Hitchcock is an asshole too then? Minus Lady in The Water, which he still didn't have a huge role in, he gives himself pretty tiny roles...
  • Richard
    I care more about the feelings he evokes and the suspense in the movie then what the reasons are why things happen, if you think about it that much they are all kinda stupid, oh hes dead, oh hes invincile, oh waters kills aliens, oh its modern times, oh lady and the water sucked so bad I cant think of anything. So mostly what he does great is suspense not stories. Im gonna do see this and Hulk.
  • St. Nizzle
    I find it funny that people here are complaining soo much about his ego or the fact that his movies suck. Honestly, it sounds like if you have sat through "Lady In The Water" then you have sat through all his other films...which means your interested in what the he's doing. So friggin leave the man alone and if he's really that bad of a director, stop watching his movies and grab a pencil or a camera and see if your stories compare anything to his...I wish you luck! It's the people who lack the talent that always have more to say than they have to deliver. And regarding the comparison of the "Hulk" and "The Happening"...common it apples an oranges, open your eyes! It sucks that they share the same opening weekend (in regards to the box office rattings) but if your a fan of both and love the movies as much as I do then none of that matters...it just makes more to look forward to!
  • m4st4
    I WANT UNBREAKABLE 2 - ANY TIME : (
  • Nettle
    @#26: I don't think all directors who act in their own movies are assholes, but the way Shyamalan perceives himself, holds himself, and his acting methods make me think he would on his own little thrown in real life. @#28: I think most people have been sitting through his films because they had respect for him, and were hoping for a good movie. But his system is wearing thin. It's the same old thing over, and over. And how can you possibly expect everyone who are fed up with the movies to do something better. We don't have the talent, but we are on the receiving end of the product that others make for us; we are most certainly allowed to criticize when we feel we aren't getting the best out of someone we have respect for. I'm not saying the guy doesn't have talent anymore, just that he needs to do some improvement on his stories... and acting...... and maybe get an ego check.
  • I really don’t understand the comparison between Hulk and The Happening. What? Just because they happen to share the same opening weekend? What does that have to do with anything? They’re completely different movies! One’s success means the other’s big flop? What kind of rule is that? Like Daniel said, what kind of movie lovers are you? You can´t handle two movies in one week? One of them has to be necessarily bad? If Iron Man and Batman, or No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood were to open on the same weekend one of them had to be a flop or a terrible movie? I don’t understand why a commercial flop is equal to a bad movie. Common! The history of cinema is full of big hits that were crap and great movies that were flops… I like Shyamalan but I recognize that not only his films are great. He is, however, original. Which is kind of hard to find this days. But please don’t crucify the guy yet! Wait for the opening, at least! I don´t blame him not wanting to play by Hollywood rules. We’ve all seen the crappy movies that result from the big studios’ pressure. I like to see comic heroes gaining life in the big screen. But like someone already said “CGI Hulk is a HORRIBLE excuse for movie making”. It´s all about making money…
  • Sorry! My mistake: "I like Shyamalan but I recognize that not all his films are great."
  • Sinbad
    For anyone who can't see Shyamalan's ego check out 'Lady in the Water' where he casts himself as a visionary writer whose work will change the world. Or the cringeworthy critic talking about story structure right before getting eaten by the grass monster... Love the guy's early work but Lady in the water saw him step off the deep end. Really hope The Happening's a return to form the idea and some of the behind the scenes stuff looks scary as shit, but after hearing bad things it'll depend on word of mouth for me. This film is his last chance tho, if it's bad he'll never get me in a cinema again; either he's a visionary filmmaker returning to form or he's a once talented director that disappeared up his own arse
  • Garrett.king
    and I suppose then that Kevin Smith's a great actor? I love kevin smith and he's put himself in every single movie he's written, plus he'll do anything to see his name in ink. He's admitted that himself. Is he an ass hole? Not really. Does he have a huge ego? No. Same with Shyamalan, and dozens of other writer directors that put themselves in their own movies. It's fun for them to take on a persona so it's like they were somehow involved in a situation that they had written before. And maybe, just maybe, he was making fun of himself in Lady In The Water? And as far as comparing all of his movies to other ones. Not all of them can be wonderful. Look at George Lucas..he was once seen as a visionary and now everyone is complaining about him for fucking up their dreams, when it isn't your dreams that count. It's theirs. They make the movies that they want to watch, and if it garners fans along the way that's fine. But you really should put yourself in check if you think even the slightest bullshit thrown their way from irate bitching internet dweebs would have any real effect on why or how they make their films. And maybe, just maybe, M. Night has a reason for thinking good of himself. Because he is a great filmmaker, and even if you think his movies suck at least he's original and doesn't depend on making remakes, rehashes or switchovers of comic books, old pointless movies and cartoons. At least not until he makes avatar the last airbender in a couple years.
  • Loren
    it is too bad the movie is opening agaist a block buster action movie with lots of special effects. i for one would much rather see the happening then anything else. what woudl a flop be considered. i think the movei will do well but what are they expecting it to pull in?
  • Traveler
    I have the same concerns about The Happening, but this one already looks much better than what I think was an atrocious film (Lady in the Water). Also, I wonder how much of the reason people think he's so full of himself is because of the fact he's doing things his way and its been spun by the press. Regardly, I love every other film of his and I have high hopes for this one. And I'm really not concerned about it going up against the Hulk, I don't know.. I just don't think the Hulk will be as big of a deal as Iron Man was or Dark Knight will be. With all these summer blockbusters I think people will pick and choose.
  • He can tell a great story, however I think the thorn in his paw is not successfully being able to finish it.
  • I think the shock value will obviously be present, but I think that will be the only big impression coming from this flick. I'm sure it will end with a legit ending, but it will probably be a 'meh' kind of feeling from the ending.
  • Daniel
    to #16 "the problem has less to do with hollywood rules and more to do with a lack of talent." THE HOLLYWOOD RULES IS WHAT PUTS THE 'LACK OF TALENT' IN THE DRIVERS SEAT!!! It's the pretty faces, young money makers, and hollywood's need to reinvent itself that causes the movies to lack the talent and dedication AND ORIGINALITY that makes it ART!! the PROBLEM is that hollywood is just another branch of the US's income circuit. And they think, 'who cares how good it is...will it make money?'
  • John D.
    @Daniel You obviously don't work in Hollywood so what would you know about it? To a large extent, YES, it's a business that needs to generate revenue, but you see, unlike many other countries such as France, our film industry is not propped up by generous government subsidies. In addition to that, most studios are owned by large conglomerates (Viacom, GE) that are only interested in the bottom line. Trust me, there are plenty of people in Tinseltown who care about art, but there are major conflicts at play that most critics of the business are completely unaware of. Also, try pointing the finger at other movie goers. Last year, an amazing film known as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford bombed at the box office while Step Up 2 The Streets made a huge profit, reclaiming its production and advertising budget within a few weeks. People like crap! The funny thing is, the money made from terrible movies often goes towards financing quality films that end up being seen by virtually nobody. This concept is known as the tentpole. Sometimes, producing bad films allows the industry to absorb the devastating financial losses on prestige pictures. Of course, this strategy is starting to wear thin with rising budgets and a failing economy (see Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures). I could go on, but I should be working right now. I hope that this small bit of insight will encourage you and others to investigate deeper before making invalid arguments supported by little else than rhetoric and naive idealism. @Nettle According to a leaked draft (which I'm sure is largely unchanged at this point), it's much worse.
  • The film opening against The Hulk isn't going to help, but I am a fan of Shyamalan and I am actually planning on seeing BOTH films opening weekend.
  • Daniel
    @ John Well I'm glad that you can speak for everyone, you work for the MPAA?
  • John D.
    @Daniel Do you even know what the MPAA does? If you're going to imply that I'm part of the "machine" that is responsible for "destroying" art then at least acquaint yourself with the proper organizations. I don't claim to speak for everyone, but I do present the reality that you've largely ignored in your attempt to come across as the heroic defender of cinema. I suggest you leave the criticism to the experts such as Jonas Mekas, Susan Sontag, and Jean Baudrillard. "You don't see many original movies out there anymore." That's completely false. What you should have said is that most good films never get past a limited release or an adequate advertising campaign. Here's a lesson about the fine line between art and business. When it comes to spending a sizable portion of the marketing budget, is it wiser to promote a big budget film that not only has a built in audience, but targets all four quadrant demographics as well or is it better to spend it on a small intellectually stimulating piece of arthouse cinema that is niche at best? Unfair as it is, I would allocate my funds to invest in the former. Why? Because, from a business perspective, betting on the latter is a HUGE financial risk unless it somehow gains phenomenal word of mouth or gets nominated for a prestigious award. Even then, it still isn't a safe best. Just look at The Fountain, Pleasantville, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Lars and the Real Girl, Zodiac, The Iron Giant, Miller's Crossing, and The Cooler. They all bombed at the box office despite being critically acclaimed and gaining fairly high awareness ratings. When audiences don't pay to see films that take creative risks or tread off the beaten path, the studio execs take note of this and, as a result, it becomes much harder to pitch concepts that are in the same vein. That said, I want to point out that there has been some significant headway made in the past decade. Among many other things, movies like Juno have made the small indie picture a hip investment, many specialty divisions have been formed to distribute films like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, artists have founded their own production companies, and package deals are commonly employed to allow filmmakers to retain creative control. Kudos to you if you've managed to read this far. I do apologize for lashing out at you earlier, Daniel, as I know your heart is in the right place, but nothing irritates me more than seeing someone make ridiculous generalizations about an entire industry just for the sake of making a point. You're grossly oversimplifying the nature of art vs. business. Nothing is black and white. I hope you someday realize that.
  • avoidz
    I've read the plot (what is "happening"), and it sounds a bit silly, though it was only a matter of time before these sorts of movies got made. One scene with Mark Wahlberg reminds me of a scene in Ghostbusters 2...
  • Daniel
    @ John Well thank you for the in depth lesson in stuff I already knew. I'm not an idiot, I know how films are put through the ringer when it comes to distribution, promoting, etc. More than anything I was making a 'broad statement' to individuals that might not have put as much thought into what I said as you have. More or less by saying what I did about the 'original movies' out there, I was talking about the struggle for these great and amazing films that never get to go wide for everyone to see. I understand all the financial, promo, distributions, case studies, ratings, blah blah blah. It just sucks that the general public is becoming dumbed down to except shitty movies as great cinema. Most people will see posters for 'There Will Be Blood' or 'Capote' and say, 'eh not exciting enough, must be dumb.' but IN MY OPINION most of where hollywood is now, was kinda their faults along with general tastes, when it comes to marketing shit movies and making the big bucks on them. And by that I mean that the general public has allowed itself to digress to a point of excepting some of these movies as blockbusters even if you look at them and say, 'WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? that was horrible!!" (the latest 3 Star Wars movies) I hope there's at least something in this that you can agree upon. As for everything else said prior to this post I'll be sure to clarify myself next time with a better explanation so I can save others from having to resight the "Hollywood For Dumbies" manual for me. I guess I just thought if I was taking time to write on this page and comment along side everyone here, I could talk in 'general' terms and be understood.
  • John D.
    "I'll be sure to clarify myself next time with a better explanation so I can save others from having to resight the 'Hollywood For Dumbies' manual for me." If you were already aware of everything I've mentioned earlier, then that means you know more about the industry than most people. Somebody with that type of knowledge is certainly not a dummy in my book. Also, I wasn't stating all of those facts simply to show off. I was actually trying to drive a point home about how audience expectations can affect decisions in Hollywood. To a certain extent, yes, I agree that there are people in control who are more concerned about the bottom line. I don't think that's inherently bad though. That's just business as usual. Sure, it may be somewhat stifling for creative people, but I hardly think that it's the source of this major issue. Art just isn't a commercially viable product in this medium. If, say, Godard's films attracted a bigger crowd, producers would naturally be all over him. That brings me next to something you said earlier. "the general public has allowed itself to digress to a point of excepting some of these movies as blockbusters even if you look at them and say, 'WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? that was horrible!!'" Exactly! Please do not interpret the next few sentences as a condescending lecture, because I am addressing you seriously. We've been talking about promotions and many other publicity related marketing techniques, but when it comes down to it, hopefully you'll agree, nothing is better than good old fashioned word of mouth advertising. I'm sure you can recall being shammed into throwing away $10 for a bad movie at some point in your life. Movies largely succeed based on public opinion, unless it's something like an adaptation of a best-selling novel or a revival of once popular franchise. There's also the fact that society is dumbed down. From your perspective, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's the result of conditioning from watching too many bad films (to the point that they expect them). I think it extends much further than that, reaching as far as our education system, but that's an entirely different (albeit relevant) discussion altogether. Hollywood, the business aspect anyway, is dictated by what's in demand. If people pay for bad movies and, god forbid, even like them enough to tell all their friends to go see it, then someone can use that as precedent. Let's take the directors responsible for Date Movie and Meet the Spartans, for example. When they go up to a producer and pitch them another terrible concept, all they have to say is, "Well our last three films turned a profit!" 'Nuff said. The movie goes into development. So long as idiots keep shelling out their money for crap, the industry will continue to supply it. If Hollywood were to suddenly start mass producing abstract and post-modern films for release to the general public, they'd be bankrupt within a year.
  • Daniel
    @ John Well I believe as the day comes to a close, we've rounded every base, hit the marker near and far.... ...and agree completely with each other haha.
  • steve
    it sucks
  • Kt
    Ha ha ha ha, some of you guys are so funny :3 Admittedly I've never seen any of Shyamalan's movies before Unbreakable, but I've enjoyed and own everyone he's made since--each one equally my favorite--though, for those of you ranting on The Village and Lady in the Water, I thoroughly enjoyed both of those films in a way I didn't with his others, and that's what keeps him a solid story-writer/ director in my opinion. I've yet to be "thrilled" by his work, on this mysterious "suspense/ horror" level many of you are claiming he's trapped beneath, but I follow his films for the quality that he and those he works with, are able to capture in each film. A pacing and unfolding of each story that is unique to only Shyamalan. And I didn't read every comment on this page, so if I'm repeating info--apologies--but whether or not The Happening "happens" Shyamalan is already set up to work on the live-action trilogy of The Avatar, an awesome and totally worthy children's cartoon-series on Nickelodeon. He's co writing it with both the writers/ directors of the series (working with two other dudes to keep their vision of their creation real) and is way excited to get his new project--something that is not solely his own--underway. So, as some have said, if you don't like the guy's stuff, don't punish yourself. Just go find the stuff you do like and stop wigging out over something you just can't control :3 Shyamalan is here to stay, with or without your Hulk vs. Happening hysteria.
  • I hope Marvel does another crossover and the Hulk shows up in The Happening. I hope the whole world's killing themselves cause they realize the follies of gamma radiation.
  • I am a big fan of M. Night Shyamalan but I have I must admit one critique'. Why does he always insistently place himself in every movie he does?! The actors he chooses are amazing but lets face it, he isn't. Having said I have to admire the fact that the stories he conjures up, transpire from his mind as opposed to a book/remake etc, etc... He does have a vivid imagination and deserves more credit than he recieves. Unbreakable, a underrated classic. The Sixth Sense, well what more needs to be said. Signs, whilst good it had its bland moments. Nevertheless I am eagerly awaiting the opening release of The Happening. Having seen the trailers I am without doubt going to see that and on that note I am also seeing The Hulk. Who is pulling the strings here insisting you're either going to see The Happening or The Hulk 2. Being a fan of both Shyamalan and Edward Norton (God bless this guy...) I will go to see both and I would anyone else with a margin of intelligence wouldn't bat for one over the other. I find it rather petty that people on this page are comparing Hulk 2 to The Happening. They are both VERY different films to apply to a different audience so stop with all the melodrama. The Happening could be a flop or a hit, but either way I will still stand by Shyamalan as one of the directors of the last while. Enough said. So everyone please end the debate already!! The Happening & The Hulk 2 are both great looking movies and I hope some people can diverse enough to respect both.
  • Mike
    Happening is going to win next weekend - 30+ million opening - everyone I know is seeing it over Hulk.
  • Denver
    Keep in mind guys....The Incredible Hulk will appeal to its own fanbase as will The Happening. Not everyone in America or anywhere else watching movies is a fan of comic book adaptions. Remember that little diddy of a movie called The Hulk, that came out back in 2003 directed by Ang Lee? That left a sour taste in a lot of mouths. Who's to say that everyone not connected to the internet will consider this much like Ang Lee's version and snub it for The Happening?
  • Suresh
    Most people are predicting this movie will be a flop based on one bad review done by a man who didn't like signs either.. The movie is already rated A- in the boxofficemojo by the people who watched it ( could be the crap copy leaked on internet ). All those bad review talks are only going to increase the possibilities of becoming a big sucess for this film . It helps to keep the expectation of the film low ( which is good at the moment )... So for those who expect the trademark twists from Night shyamalan... here is the Twist.. This movie is been expected to be one of the biggest failure of this summer... But this is going to be a 200 million plus $ box office movie..
  • Gizmo
    As far as I'm concerned M. Night Shyamalan hasn't made a truly great movie since Unbreakable. The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable are his cinematic masterpieces....his other films Signs, The Village and Lady In The Water were panifully weak and felt more like I was watching a Steven King made for TV movie of the week, than a Hollywood blockbuster. As a director and a creative force, he started off strong, but his well of creativity seems to have dried up.....he did however give us at least 2 excellent films, which is more than a lot of other directors. Bring on Unbreakable 2 !!!!
  • Gremlin
    Just finished watching "the happening" and then went looking for websites talking about how much Shyamalan sucks. Here's a guy who basically had a great idea for a movie (6th sense) and successfully made a masterpiece out of it. Then Hollywood said "Great!!!! What else ya got?" M. - "Uh... I kinda like comic books" Hollywood - "Not too shabby!!! What's next?" M. - "Uh.......... Aliens?" Hollywood - "Not very original, but whatever. Then what?" M. - "............ A monster......... But it's not a monster.......it's.........not the past?" Hollywood - "I don't know what the hell you just said, but we'll give you another try?" M. - "................Lady????? ..................... Water?????? ....................... Wolfenstein 3-D????" Hollywood - "You're clearly smoking meth, but skrew it. Any other "original ideas"? M. "....................................People .......................... Kill ............... MARK WAHLBERG" Hollywood - "I'm sure there's a movie in there somewhere."
  • This_Guy
    Unbreakable-Yes, Sixth Sense-Yes, Signs-Yes, The Village-Arrrrrghhh, Lady in the Water-What the Fudge?, The Happening-The CRAPPENING!
  • M
    Uuuuugh, I can't believe I went to see this, the movie sucked!

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