M. Night Shyamalan and Universal have teamed for a one-two punch of thriller goodness.
The movie studio announced Monday it has partnered with the Oscar-nominated Sixth Sense and Glass filmmaker to release two of his upcoming features. The first of the currently untitled projects — both of which will be independently financed — will premiere in theaters on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, with the second following on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023.
“Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” Universal Pictures President Peter Cramer said of the news in a press statement. “There is no one like him: he is a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, and we are honored that he has once again chosen Universal to be the home for his next two incredible projects.”
Shyamalan added: “There are wonderful studios out there, but Universal has made it a mandate to release original films. They are the best at finding an audience for new stories with unexpected tones. I believe original films are crucial to the longevity of the theatrical experience. I am so excited to be working with them again and bringing new stories to the movie screen for years to come.”
The filmmaker later tweeted that “when you write spec screenplays for a living, it can be very scary. You exist with constant uncertainty as mores and tastes change over time. When you have partners who push you to break boundaries & try daring things, you don’t let go of them.”
The release of both films will continue the partnership between Universal and Shyamalan, which has led to the financial success of past films like 2016’s The Visit ($98.5 million worldwide on a $5 million budget), 2017’s Split ($278.5 million worldwide on a $9 million budget), and January’s Glass ($247 million worldwide on a $20 million budget).
To date, the 49-year-old, India-born writer-director’s filmography has grossed more than $3.3 billion worldwide across other titles like Signs, The Last Airbender, The Village, and Unbreakable.
In addition to his upcoming features at Universal, Shyamalan will direct two of the first 10 episodes of his planned AppleTV+ series Servant, which he executive-produced for the new streaming service.
Plot details and casting announcements for Shyamalan’s pair of new Universal thrillers have yet to be unveiled.