Though many critics hailed Split as a return to some form of form (though this lauded “form” for M. Night Shyamalan often just looks fondly on that one movie, featuring, from what I hear, certain “dead people” who’re “seen”) the verdict on Split is still somewhat…split. I bring up said split–ness in self-interest, because I, too, recently saw the movie, and had little else to say besides “duped again!” And not “duped” in the good way, by any particular twist within the film. Rather, duped by the overarching life twist of once again walking out of a theater and being shocked by the fact that I thought it’d be a good idea to spend 2+ hours with another one of these films. (Though I must say, I almost forgave all due to the sheer pleasure of seeing McAvoy as the Mrs. Doubtfire-esque personality, Patricia, sensuously relishing the word “paprika.”) This all brings me to news: the director recently teased a sequel-of-sorts to Split in a Tweet, as Variety points out.
The director wrote on Twitter, “I have an 11 page outline for my next film in my bag. I can’t tell you what it is, but If you’ve seen #Split…” So, this may leave you groaning or anxiously anticipating some fun new accents/sadistic acts from McAvoy’s Kevin/Hedwig/Dennis/Patricia/etc.
The mischievous ellipsis in the Tweet might seem less mysterious for those who’ve already seen Split, which is why those of you who haven’t should perhaps stop reading here, because SPOILERS ENSUE. Anyway, the end of Split is a self-referential cameo from Bruce Willis, embodying his Unbreakable character, David Dunn. For, you see, James McAvoy’s paranormally-tinged dissociative identity disorder-suffering character in Split was originally written into — and then written out of — a draft of that 17 year old Shyamalan film. The ending of Split therefore indicated that these films exist in the same world, and Shyamalan has since stated that they’re the first two parts of a trilogy.
I do feel it’s important to keep making these original movies, that’s what I do, but I don’t mind this unusual trilogy existing in the group.
I can guess the ultimate twist already: I will slowly begin to forget I ever wrote this disparaging post. As trailers for the next film start to be released, my interest will be piqued — I’ll think, “that’s an intriguing premise,” “I wonder how that could possibly end,” and “maybe it’ll be the real return to form.” I’ll see it. I’ll leave the theater shocked that I saw it. I’ll write another snarky post. The cycle will repeat, until, in the last act of my life, it’s broken by my realizing something preternatural about my childhood (“all of the cups of water she was hoarding in Signs were there for a reason!!!”) that’ll lead me to break free.