M. Night Shyamalan
Credit: M. Night Shyamalan: John Spellman/Retna

M. Night Shyamalan made EW’s Power List

AGE 32

WHY HIM Check the scoreboard: ”Signs” rang up $200 million plus, silencing the ”Unbreakable” naysayers. Not only one of the highest-paid writer-directors in Hollywood ($12.5 million plus back end to write and direct ”Signs”), but, like Lucas and Spielberg, able to draw a mass audience on his name alone. Doesn’t hurt that he consistently persuades major actors (Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson) to star in his relatively inexpensive, wildly profitable movies. Only debit? Dude, aliens who have mastered interstellar travel but can’t get through a pantry door?!