Shyamalan’s Next Film Happening At Fox

That's its name - The Happening

Shyamalan's Next Film Happening At Fox

by Willow Green |
Published on

M. Night Shyamalan has been a busy boy of late, not only tidying up the script for Avatar: The Last Airbender, but also writing and finding a studio to greenlight his next directorial project, which we’ve learned today will be called The Happening.

After a week of meetings with all of the big studios some weeks back, the Sixth Sense and Lady In The Water director was having a bit of trouble getting any of the big executives interested enough in his script, which was at the time called The Green Effect, to make a deal. But he took the notes he was given onboard, gave the screenplay another pass, and six weeks later, 20th Century Fox signed on for the film, which is now scheduled for a summer 2008 release.

The story has been described in Variety as “a paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large scale threat to humanity.” Oddly enough, the advice Shyamalan received from Fox head honcho Tom Rothman was to up the edginess of the story, certainly enough to give the film an ‘R’ rating in the US – which will be a first for the director. Apparently they are gunning for ‘intensity’ the likes of Silence Of The Lambs and Pan’s Labyrinth.

It’s been a tough couple of years for Shyamalan, whose Lady In The Water (which was made at Warner Brothers after a less than completely amicable split from his previous filmmaking collaborators Disney) underperformed, as did his book about the story of his split from the Mouse House. But perhaps the best news from all of this is that the writer / director has re-teamed with one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, producer Barry Mendel, whom he worked with for The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.

No casting has been announced yet, but Shyamalan has announced that he intends to cast “a big male star” in the leading role.

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