It used to be an electrifying event when a mysterious new Shyamalan project rose out of the creative mire of Hollywood. These were moments of sublime elation for genre film lovers of all persuasions. The expectations. The delirious speculation. Rumors of secret screenplays, midnight casting calls and clandestine methods of masking any hint of plot twists were treated as must-hear news.
Then, after the brilliance of The Sixth Sense and the vastly underrated Unbreakable faded, we've suffered an eternity of woe and disappointment from the once-sainted filmmaker, starting with an anger-inducing trip to The Village, then the overwrought eco-thriller The Happening, a watered-down fantasy fish fable with Lady in the Water and most recently ending on the sour note of the flatly forgettable After Earth. Let's not even mention The Last Airbender, OK?
Now comes an image off Shyamalan's Twitter feed showing a clapboard sporting the production name of Sundowning, following a period of dead air after last year's Will Smith-starring After Earth disaster. Here's the proof ...
According to muddled tidbits delved out on his fan site, principal photography began on Feb. 19, and it appears that the film will take place in a snowy environment. Black Swan's costumer Amy Westcott and its production designer Therese DePerez are apparently working on the film, accompanied by French cinematographer Maryse Alberti (The Wrestler), whose name is featured on the clapboard. He's squeezing this little horror project in before reteaming with Bruce Willis on Labor of Love, one of his first scripts sold to Hollywood, about a Philadelphia bookstore owner who loses the love of his life in a tragic accident.
So could this no-budget project be the spark that returns Shyamalan to supernova brilliance, or be just another reason to expel a weary sigh?