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WATCH: James McAvoy and Samuel L Jackson break the superhero mould in new movie Glass

It’s the latest creation from renowned writer and director M Night Shyamalan.

Source: Journal Media Studio/YouTube

LET US GUESS… The fate of the world has fallen on the shoulders of a flawless, muscly superhero and he must use his powers to wrestle power from a villain’s hands, as he grapples with the idea of good and evil? Not quite. 

If you’ve ever watched an M. Night Shyamalan film, you’ll know to expect the unexpected – think last-minute twists and characters who are anything but stereotypical, as we saw in Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016).

Glass is the latest in the trilogy inspired by the derailment of the fictitious Eastrail 177 train, which made David Dunn (Bruce Willis) completely indestructible and gave Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) 24 different personalities. The film also features Elijah Price (Samuel L Jackson) as an evil but fragile genius with a brittle bone disorder.

When the superhuman characters of Dunn and Crumb meet Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) at a mental facility, she tries to convince them that their superpowers are in fact a fascinating form of hallucinogenic mania. 

Most of the film’s scenes were shot in a now-abandoned psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania, Shyamalan’s home state. It’s not the only way the director has come full circle in his career, which started with The Sixth Sense in 1999. According to The New York Times, his latest release has him “back to making the kids of thrillers that labelled him ‘the Next Spielberg’”.

When he released Split, the film took in over $278 (€244) million on what was initially a $9 (€7.8) million budget so surprises are his speciality – both in his plots and in audiences’ reaction to them.

This time around, Shyamalan admitted that Glass was the toughest film he’s ever made. While Unbreakable was very much a comic book movie, Split was a horror, and in Glass, he manages to merge the two. As he explained to The New York Times:

Glass represents its titular character, Mr. Glass. He is very philosophical and playing a chess match, and he has a little tongue-in-cheek smile. So each movie hopefully represents its main character. 

In fact, by the time Split hit cinemas, Shyamalan was already writing Glass. And it was as far back as when he was making The Sixth Sense that he first came up with the concept for a superhero trilogy. He called the idea of Dunn and Crumb facing off “delicious” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: “I always wanted to have the two characters meet.”

It’s a film that some critics have called “a clever [...] exploration of group psychosis“, with most singing McAvoy’s praises for the versatility he shows playing 23 different characters (have a look here at Insider’s guide to each of them). One of them, he even based on our very own Saoirse Ronan, according to Vanity Fair.

As he explained to Stephen Colbert:

Her voice was based on my memory of Saoirse’s when she was 11. Not how she sounds now, and probably not how she sounded then, but my memory of her voice then, which was high and full of—she was sharp, and she was just full of life.

Glass hits Irish cinemas this weekend on general release.

Like to see M Night Shyamalan’s jaw-dropping new film for yourself? You’re in luck – Glass hits Irish cinemas this weekend from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Get a taste of what you can expect here or book tickets to see it in your local cinema. 

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