MUMBAI (Reuters) - Filmmaker 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.
After making a successful debut with “The Sixth Sense” in 1999, Shyamalan found little commercial success with critics panning his last two films, including “Lady in the Water” for which he received the Golden Raspberry Award for worst director.
But the 37-year-old filmmaker, who shares Alfred Hitchcock’s custom of making cameo appearances in his films, says “The Happening” will be a return to form.
“I want people to be scared after watching the film,” Shyamalan, who is of Indian origin, said in a video conference from Philadelphia late on Wednesday.
“It is my darkest and most Hitchcockian. They should be afraid of what they see.”
Shyamalan describes “The Happening” as a paranoia movie from the 1960s on the lines of ‘The Bird’ and ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’. The film is slated to open in June/July 2008.
It deals with a family’s attempts to survive a global disaster. Shyamalan is shooting in Philadelphia - his hometown - and the U.S. east coast.
The movie, written by Shyamalan, is being co-produced by 20th Century Fox and Mumbai-based Bollywood production company, UTV Motion Pictures, which will equally share the $57 million budget and all revenue streams.
“I always had a desire to do something in India, and stay connected to India,” Shyamalan said, referring to the collaboration with UTV, whose credits include India’s foreign-language Oscar entry this year, “Rang De Basanti” (Color Me Saffron).