The Sixth Sense director's latest film concerns a group of people who find themselves rapidly aging on a beach.

By Clark Collis
February 08, 2021 at 06:32 PM EST

M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming thriller Old was among the first movies to be filmed following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. But that's not why the filmmaker described the shoot in the Dominican Republic as "risky" in an Instagram Live chat with EW on Monday, the day after the first Old teaser debuted during the Super Bowl.

"It was so precarious to make the film at that time, and I decided to do it because that cast, I didn't want to lose anyone, I didn't want to lose one person, so I decided to go for it," said the Sixth Sense director, whose film stars Gael García Bernal and Thomasin McKenzie, among others. "It was risky to shoot it at that moment because it was hurricane season in the Caribbean. In fact, our sets got destroyed by a hurricane, and we built them up again, and we were very lucky that second time they stayed up."

Shyamalan also discussed the inspiration for Old, a graphic novel by writer Pierre Oscar Lévy and artist Frederik Peeters titled Sandcastle, about a group of people who find themselves rapidly aging on a beach.

Credit: Phobymo/Universal Pictures

"It's based on this graphic novel that I was given from my daughters," he said. "I read it, and the premise was so powerful, of these people that went to this beach and their experience that happens on that day in the beach… I thought it was very frightening and emotional, and the ideas just started coming, and I tracked down the owner, and the person that wrote it. It was just a beautiful thing, and kind of touching, that it came from my daughters, this story about getting older very, very quick."

Old also stars stars Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Embeth Davidtz, Eliza Scanlen, Emun Elliott, and Kathleen Chalfant.

The film is slated for release July 23. Watch the full chat with Shyamalan above.

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