Shyamalan, M. Night: Director Profile (Split)

Writer-director-producer M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN’s new film is the horror thriller, Split.

In 2015, M. Night 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 made his first foray into television when he executive produced and directed the pilot of Wayward Pines, which aired in May 2015.  The 10-episode event series, based on a best-selling novel, premiered on FOX.  The show turned into a fan favorite, becoming the No. 1 watched drama of the summer.

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 NYU Tisch School of the Arts to study filmmaking.

During his final year at NYU, Shyamalan wrote Praying with Anger, a semi-autobiographical 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 Film Fest in 1992.

Shyamalan then 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 fame and he became one of the most sought-after young filmmakers in Hollywood.  One of the highest-grossing films, The Sixth Sense received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

Shyamalan collaborated with Willis again in 2000 on the film Unbreakable, co-starring Samuel L. Jackson.  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 hit Signs, which starred Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix.

In 2004, Shyamalan released The Village, which starred Bryce Dallas Howard and Phoenix.  The film explored an isolated community and the treaty they hold with the mysterious creatures that live 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 followed a man and his family as they tried to escape from an inexplicable natural disaster.

Other feature credits include The Last Airbender, Shyamalan’s first foray into family fare, and After Earth, an original sci-fi father-and-son story, which starred Will Smith and Jaden Smith.

Shyamalan likes to shoot his movies in his home town, Philadelphia and its surrounding area.

He currently resides in Pennsylvania with his family.