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Can Shyamalan play Quidditch?
rediff Entertainment Bureau | July 28, 2006 15:05 IST
M Night Shyamalan isn't done just yet.
Despite all the critic flak following his latest release Lady In The Water, Shyamalan is still an A-list director -- and potentially the man helming a future Harry Potter production.
While Lady made a disappointing $25 million in its first week in the US, the film certainly isn't a flop. It cost nearly $60 million, half the budget of most major studio releases. Once overseas and DVD revenues are added in, the film is likely to make a small profit.
A flop or two often forces prominent directors to recapture box office glory with a bigger film. Steven Spielberg, for example, followed The Color Purple and Empire Of The Sun with the mammoth Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. British magazines are abuzz with the speculation that Shyamalan, currently hoping for better reviews abroad, wants to take on a Harry Potter film.
In London to promote Lady In The Water, Shyamalan told ComingSoon.net that a Potter film was on the cards.
"You know, that Harry Potter dance has gone on a long time. The problem is that it is a living breathing thing now, all by itself. When it comes over to my camp, it needs to be kind of handed over, adoption papers and everything. That's a tricky move."
He also revealed that the first Harry Potter film, The Philosopher's Stone (eventually directed by Chris Columbus) was offered to him. But that conflicted with his Unbreakable. "I would definitely look into directing a Harry Potter film, but I think probably before that I would adapt a book. I've gotten close a few times to adapting books,"
One hopes Shyamalan, ever so secretive of his scripts, knows that Harry Potter author JK Rowling has final approval of every screenplay based on her bestselling books.
The director might also have the last laugh on Disney production chief Nina Jacobson. Jacobson turned down the Lady In The Water script, but ghosts of awful flops she had greenlit over the years (The Alamo, among others) returned to haunt her. Jacobson was unceremoniously given the boot a couple of weeks ago when Disney cut over 600 jobs worldwide.