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UNBREAKABLE

About The Production

Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan had not even finished editing "The Sixth Sense" when he started developing ideas for his next project and came up with the concept for "Unbreakable." "I had actually been working on another story for a few months during post-production on ‘The Sixth Sense,' and was just at the stage when I was going to commit to writing it," says Shyamalan. "Then I had this idea about a man being the sole survivor of a horrific train crash who walks away without a scratch and how he begins to question who he is and what his purpose is in life. The idea was just so provocative and intrigued me so much, that I immediately started outlining it. Within a couple days I had it to the level of the movie that I'd been working on for months, so I just kept on going.

"For some reason, the other movie I was working on just didn't seem like the right next step," adds Shyamalan. "I wanted to go forward in scope and implications for something that would really capture the imagination and this idea lends itself to that. It was a great canvas as opposed to the other idea which felt like it was very similar to ‘The Sixth Sense'."

As he began the process of writing the initial drafts of the script, Shyamalan asked his producers from "The Sixth Sense," Barry Mendel and Sam Mercer, to work with him again on his new project.

"The three of us together as producers are very effective," says Shyamalan. "Barry handles a great deal in regard to many of the creative aspects of making the film and Sam is great at being able to physically execute my movies … he always figures out a beautiful way to make the impossible happen. Most importantly though is that they are good men and we all have the same temperament and have a great time together. So between the three of us we are checks and balances for each other practically, creatively and emotionally."

"From the moment we finished filming ‘The Sixth Sense,' I kept seeing him [Night Shyamalan] furiously reading all of this research about train crashes and technical aspects of other big fatality accidents," recalls producer Barry Mendel. "But all he said was just that he had a new idea, he wouldn't tell me anything about it. He basically went away on his own and just went into a hole and came out with an entire script. So this truly is something that springs entirely from Night's mind."

"Before I wrote it, I conceived the whole movie in my head," says Shyamalan. "I said I want to do it with Touchstone Pictures. I want Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson to play the leads and I want it to come out at Thanksgiving."

With his vision clearly set in his mind, Shyamalan began writing his initial drafts of the script specifically for Willis and Jackson, having no idea if the two actors would either agree or if they would be available to clear their busy schedules in order to meet his self-imposed deadline for his targeted release date. Within a few weeks, he had a working draft and decided to call them to see if he could start making his vision a reality. "I told them I was writing it specifically for them and gave them an idea of when I wanted to shoot it, but at that point did not tell them what it was about, and they both said they were in. Isn't that the way it should be?" laughs Shyamalan. "Seriously, I'm not sure why they agreed at that point without reading the script, but that is exactly the kind of fate that the movie is about and<

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