Screenwriter, director and producer M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN
(Directed/Written/Produced by) has captured the attention of audiences around
the world for almost two decades, creating films that have amassed more than $3
billion worldwide. His thrillers include The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs,
The Village and The Visit.
Most recently Shyamalan released the thriller Split with Universal Pictures,
which was No. 1 at the box office for three weeks in a row.
In 2015, Shyamalan teamed up with Universal Pictures on the horror hit The
Visit. Bringing in close to $100 million at the worldwide box office, The Visit
was one of the highest grossing horror films of the year.
Shyamalan's first foray into television also took place in 2015 when he
executive produced and directed the pilot Wayward Pines. The highly anticipated
10-episode event series, based on a best-selling novel, brought to life by
Shyamalan premiered May 14, 2015, on FOX. The show quietly turned into a fan
favorite, becoming the No. 1 watched drama of the summer.
Shyamalan is producing a television series for Apple Television. The
half-hour thriller, written by Tony Basgallop, has received a 10-episode order
for Apple's upcoming streaming platform. Shyamalan will direct the first
Shyamalan began making films at a young age in his hometown near Philadelphia
and by 16 he had completed 45 short films. Upon finishing high school he
attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts to study filmmaking.
During his final year at NYU, Shyamalan wrote Praying with Anger, a
semiautobiographical screenplay about a student from the U.S. who goes to India
and finds himself a stranger in his homeland. The film was screened at the
Toronto International Film Festival alongside Reservoir Dogs and Strictly
Ballroom. In the years that followed, Shyamalan wrote Stuart Little for Columbia
Pictures, and completed his first mainstream feature, Wide Awake, a film that
explored a boy's search to discover his faith.
In 1999, The Sixth Sense, which starred Bruce Willis, catapulted Shyamalan
into stardom and he became one of the most sought-after young filmmakers in
Hollywood. One of the highest-grossing films of all time, The Sixth Sense
received a total of six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best
Director and Best Original Screenplay.
Shyamalan collaborated with Willis again in 2000 on the film Unbreakable,
which also starred Samuel L. Jackson. A film ahead of its time, Unbreakable has
become an underground hit in the years since its release. Shyamalan once again
explored the idea of a man questioning his faith in the 2002 box-office success
Signs, which starred Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix.
In 2004, Shyamalan released The Village, which starred Bryce Dallas Howard
and Phoenix. The film explores an isolated community and the treaty they hold
with the mysterious creatures living in the surrounding forest. In his next
film, Lady in the Water, Shyamalan explored the supernatural world of a dark
bedtime story. In 2008, Shyamalan wrote, directed and produced The Happening,
which starred Mark Wahlberg. The film follows a man and his family as they try
to escape from an inexplicable natural disaster. His other feature credits
include The Last Airbender, Shyamalan's first foray into family entertainment,
and After Earth, an original sci-fi father-and-son story, which starred Will
Smith and Jaden Smith.
Shyamalan also devotes his time to the philanthropic projects of his
foundation, which he cofounded with his wife, Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan, in 2001. The
M. Night Shyamalan Foundation is dedicated to supporting remarkable leaders and
their grassroots efforts to remove the barriers created by poverty and
inequality in their communities.
With a great love for his hometown, Shyamalan is known for filming his movies
in Philadelphia and its surrounding area. He currently resides in Pennsylvania
with his family.
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