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M. Night Shyamalan Details Horrible Experience Working With Miramax

Writer and director M. Night Shyamalan recently detailed his horrible experience working with Miramax. Although Shyamalan’s career is well-known, becoming a household name with his ghost story horror The Sixth Sense and superhero deconstruction drama, Unbreakable. However, the filmmaker previously received his big Hollywood break at Miramax with the comedy-drama film Wide Awake starring comedian Denis Leary, Tulsa King star Dana Delany, and famed actor and talk show host, Rosie O’Donnell. After Shyamalan completed the film in 1995, the film was shelved until its limited release three years later where it made approximately $280,000 against its $6 million budget.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Shyamalan recalled his horrible working experience at Miramax while making Wide Awake. The director called the experience a “trial by fire,” singling out former Miramax co-chairman and disgraced film producer, Harvey Weinstein, as a cause of his frustration. However, Shyamalan explained that his time there helped strengthen his resolve to allow him to have the career that he eventually had. Read what Shyamalan said below:

Shyamalan’s comments indicate that his success in the suspense genre was thanks to the difficult experience he had with Miramax and Weinstein. Due to a fortunate lapse in the studio’s legal obligations, the filmmaker was able to write The Sixth Sense outside of his contract and have it produced under Buena Vista Pictures. The Bruce Willis-led film was praised by critics and audiences alike and grossed over $670 million at the box office, propelling his career to the next level.


Shyamalan continued his success in the psychological thriller genre to include Unbreakable, the alien invasion science-fiction hit, Signs, and the haunting pseudo-monster horror, The Village. After a significant lull in his career due to a string of critical failures like Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth, Shyamalan rebounded back with his unnerving found-footage film, The Visit, which saw two child siblings meet their ailing estranged grandparents for the first time. The director followed that up with the well-regarded Split which saw James McAvoy portray a kidnapper with 23 distinct personalities.

Shyamalan now serves as an executive producer on his psychological Apple TV television series, Servant, starring Harry Potter franchise’s Rupert Grint. The director is set to return to the big screen with his apocalyptic thriller, Knock at the Cabin, which sees a family faced with a terrible decision by a group of four violent strangers. Although Shyamalan’s career has met its share of obstacles, early reactions to Knock at the Cabin suggest the director still has a great future ahead of him.

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