The psych ward in Glass.
Image: Universal Pictures

Or an ending like it, anyway.

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Talking to Entertainment Weekly, M. Night Shyamalan, director of Glass, the latest film in the trilogy he began with Unbreakable in 2000, spoke about the film’s ending, and how it was, for him, at least, a long time coming.

In the ending of Glass, in case you need a refresher, things get pretty hectic. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is killed by Clarence Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy); Crumb and David Dunn (Bruce Willis) are both killed by a secret anti-superhero organization; and Price’s mother (Charlayne Woodard), is able to release surveillance footage from Crumb and Dunn’s conflict proving that, yeah, superhumans are real, isn’t that wild?

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“I did,” Shyamalan said, when asked if he had a conclusion like that in mind way back when. “I always thought it was a little bit of like an opera, even when I was starting on Unbreakable. I thought this was a very operatic end to it all [with] people screaming and all of these kinds of implications. It was about implications more than anything. I’m a big fan of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as you can probably tell. The format of that movie just blew me away when I saw it. The idea that the journey of the main character gets fulfilled by another character is a very powerful idea.”

In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chief fulfills his friend’s hope of escape; in Split, Price’s mother fulfills the dream of the movie’s cast to prove themselves as real, whether real heroes or real monsters. It’s a powerful influence, even if Split didn’t handle that finale as gracefully as we would have liked.

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