The road to perdition: On M Night Shyamalan1 min read

More than ten years ago, in 2002, Manoj Night Shyamalan appeared on the cover of Newsweek, his hands placed assertively on his hips, confidently staring into the distance, looking like more of a movie star than a director. ‘The Next Spielberg,’ proclaimed the cover (in large sized-text) along with ‘Hollywood’s Hottest New Story Teller.’

Today, those words come seem cruelly ironic. In a phantom twist, Newsweek doesn’t exist as a print magazine and neither does Shyamalan’s career, (at least according to Hollywood observers.) If it were at all possible that ex-wunderkind Shyamalan couldn’t hit a new low, he has somehow managed to helm, After Earth, which has been roundly panned.

The real ignominy for Shyamalan is that Columbia, the studio that produced the movie, was so petrified that moviegoers would be put off by Shyamalan’s association with the film that they tried to bury his name from any of the marketing and publicity paraphernalia. This was a director whose movies had famously announced themselves with “A film by M Night Shyamalan”. Evidently, a brand had become a liability.

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