M. Night Shyamalan has inked a new multi-year, first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, with the Oscar-nominated filmmaker switching his allegiance from Universal. The announcement was made Thursday by Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy.
News of the pact comes as the director celebrates his latest release “Knock at the Cabin,” which marks his seventh No. 1 opening at the box office — he has a No. 1 film in each of the last four decades — and further contributes to his more than $3 billion haul at the global box office, beginning with his breakout hit, “The Sixth Sense.”
“Where I write and direct is my home,” Shyamalan said in a statement announcing the new deal. “Disney and Universal, where I’ve made most of my films, will always be home and family to me. Warner Bros. has a storied history of cinema. Through its recent experiences, the company has rediscovered its love and appreciation for filmmakers, and the impact of the theatrical experience. We all win when movies succeed in theaters. I believe David Zaslav, Michael De Luca, and Pam Abdy have dedicated themselves to unique filmmakers, and to filling theaters all around the world for years to come.”
Under the new agreement, Shyamalan and his Philly-based production company Blinding Edge Pictures, run by president of production Ashwin Rajan, will develop original projects for the filmmaker to produce and/or direct for WBPG production divisions Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.
Among those projects is Shyamalan’s much-anticipated next directorial effort, “Trap,” which is dated for a theatrical release on Aug. 2, 2024. Also, in the works is “The Watchers,” the forthcoming directorial debut of his daughter Ishana Night Shyamalan, which will commence production this year and is slated for a June 7, 2024 release from New Line Cinemas.
“Night is one of the most iconic and influential directors of his generation and an auteur in every sense of the word,” stated De Luca and Abdy. “From ‘The Sixth Sense’ through ‘Split’ to his latest chiller ‘Knock at the Cabin,’ he’s one of the few directors in contemporary cinema whose name alone promises a bold, singular vision, compelling original storytelling and a provocative, surprising and entirely unique experience at the theater. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him to the Warner Bros. family, and look forward to an exciting collaboration with Night and the entire Blinding Edge team.”
A lifelong film lover, Shyamalan began directing his own projects while a student at NYU, kicking off his career with 1992’s “Praying with Anger” and 1998’s “Wide Awake.” In 1999, the writer, director and producer’s third film, “The Sixth Sense,” made him a mega-star, earning nearly $700 million worldwide and netting six Oscar nominations, including directing and original screenplay nods. His body of work that followed includes blockbusters like “Signs,” “The Village,” “The Visit” and the comic-book trilogy “Unbreakable,” “Split” and “Glass.”
On the TV side, Shyamalan has directed five episodes of Apple+ TV’s thriller series “Servant,” for which he also serves as showrunner and executive producer.
Shyamalan is repped by Range Media Partners and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.
Deadline was first to report the new deal.