If they were in television… M. Night Shyamalan

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Notable Films: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, The Happening

Famous for: Films with ridiculously unprecedented twists endings, supernatural science fiction, making cameos in his movies and crediting himself as an actor, films that lose money, The Sixth Sense

Hypothetical premise: A selfless, middle-aged heart surgeon is traumatized by the loss of his bride and mother of his children in her suicide attempt that he could not prevent or save her from after he spent a the night drinking. Now sworn sober and a dedicated father, he deals with painful flashbacks and alienation from people in his life who are much more perfect than he is. Almost too perfect. As he begins searching for cause of his wife’s suicide, he realizes it may not have been a suicide at all, instead it was a highly plotted murder carried out by the town’s council who wants to seduce the male lead and pull the memories of his wife away and replace them with memories of her. Of course, only something so mischievous and supernatural could be done by the queen of a water nymph town where no humans were allowed to leave. Escape is a world away. Each episode ends with him finding out he is in a different time period, on a different planet, as a different character. Enter aliens. Apocalypse.

Cross Between: The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, Lost, Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Likely to bring: Both Bruce Willis and Joaquin Phoenix have worked with Shyamalan twice, but neither seems likely to do TV or provide an interesting lead given their age or looks for the male lead part. Adrien Brody is not shy of science fiction, good or bad, and will bring the right haunted depression the role requires. Then there is Bryce Dallas Howard, who after filled in the Twilight role without much notice from the media, has proven she is no big name like her father and could easily find herself on TV. She seems to have that plastic and paled look like Tilda Swinton perfect for the lead in a science fiction show, especially as the seductive, evil water nymph queen or even the sweet, innocent wife. Either way.

Likeliness of this happening: 8/10.  Sooner or later studios are going to quit taking big risks on Shyamalan and his high concept ideas with low concept quality as they keep losing money at the box office. With networks desperately seeking the next Lost, and serialized TV making a kind-of-comeback, he just might land the right deal with television executives to get something like this rolling. In a way his films are already perfect for TV, they aren’t that cinematic, they are lower production quality and cable networks like USA, SyFy and TNT are hungry for original programming like this.

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