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Shyamalan plans return to a darker style with thriller

March 16, 2007|From Reuters

Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan will return to his provocative, dark Hitchcockian style with "The Happening," a thriller about a natural calamity that threatens to wipe out humanity.

Scheduled for release in summer 2008, the $57-million film will be co-financed by 20th Century Fox and a production company in India, Mumbai-based UTV Motion Pictures. Shyamalan, who is of Indian descent, said this is a way of staying connected to the country.

Shyamalan made a successful debut with "The Sixth Sense" in 1999. But his last film, last year's "Lady in the Water," was a commercial and critical bust, even earning him a Golden Raspberry Award as worst director of the year.

The 37-year-old filmmaker, who shares Alfred Hitchcock's custom of making cameos in his films, says "The Happening" will be a return to form.

"I want people to be scared after watching the film," Shyamalan said in a video conference this week from Philadelphia, where the film will be shot.

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