Why is M. Night Shyamalan Getting so Many Directing Shots While Women are Only Getting One?

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  • Entertain-Me

    Why does he get so many shots at directing? Because his films make a ton of money?

    Movie studios don’t operate on IMDB ratings or Rotten Tomatoes scores. The operate on cold hard cash.

    It seems crazy to me that this article was written AFTER The Visit, which made 20 times it’s budget, but even his real horrible movies made money (The Happening – Budget $48mil – grosses $163mil. | After Earth – Budget $130m, Grosses $243m)

    Not that most of the women you mentioned have had made movies that lost a ton of money, but maybe find a better person to highlight as someone questionably getting work than someone coming off of a movie that was very modestly budgeted, and a pretty big hit (even though it sucked).

  • Rohan Mohmand


    The name Shyamalan is a brand — it has been for many years. The only Shyamalan film that did not make money is LADY IN THE WATER, a film that in its own right is a very moving fairy tale that only someone like Shyamalan can write and direct. As for THE LAST AIRBENDER, I agree, the weakest film in his filmography, but as a writer, a little more research was needed, because I’m sure you’re not aware of exactly what happened when Shyamalan said yes to the project. His version of the script, as it was reported a few years ago, was very good. It’s unfortunate that the studio heads wanted their own film, did not let Shyamalan make a good film based on a good show. Why do you think Shyamalan is now funding his films (The Visit, Split).

    As for women, Ms. Bigelow is a selective filmmaker–it doesn’t mean she is not being offered films. She is working on a project right now. I’m very happy to see someone like her is actually focusing on original, cogent content just like Shyamalan does.

    As for JENNIFER’S BODY, it’s a trash. As a director, whether one is a man or a woman, no matter what, you have to have a point of view. You mentioned WONDER WOMAN, it will be another dud, not necessarily because it is directed by a woman, or who knows maybe because of the director.

    Shyamalan is a powerful filmmaker, but so is Bigelow and as well as Lynn Ramsey and Angelina Jolie. I’m a little surprised that you forgot mentioning both Ms. Jolie and Mr. Ramsey in your write-up. We have these filmmakers, female, that are very selective. Again, being selective is a very good thing.

    I don’t know why you are picking on Shyamalan.

    • Allyson Johnson

      I think perhaps you should re-read Yasmin’s post before trying to lecture her on what she is and isn’t saying.

      She says twice that she’s a fan of Shyamalan and that she hopes for nothing but success for him. Her concern is that even after he produced duds, even though his films for many of the last few years have been critically decimated, he continues to get one shot after another while a female director could fight to have one independent darling and then never be hired for a big picture again, which is bogus.

      She didn’t mention Lynn Ramsey or Angelina Jolie because they are two directors who have managed to break through in Hollywood despite the absolute rampant sexism facing them. However, 2 directors succeeding doesn’t negate the very harsh fact that women directors aren’t being hired while men are being hired on so called “promise”. http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/05/aclu-sexism-hollywood

      Don’t dismiss facts that women aren’t being given the same chances as men in film (and lets be real, EVERYWHERE) just because you’re annoyed that you thought someone was picking on a director you loved, especially when again, Yasmin mentioned multiple times that she’s a fan of the director. Unfortunately for him his film Split proved timely to discuss this discrepancy.

      • Rohan Mohmand

        Sexism is real. Everywhere.

        We have to focus on the business side when it comes to studios picking directors and actors. Kevin Smith is not given big budget films either; Daniel Stamm; Darren Lynn Bousman, the list goes on. It’s all about money.

        I personally chatted with Yasmin earlier today, and we both are very much on the same page when it comes to women directors. We need more of them. I enjoy immensely almost everything that Ms. Bigelow has directed. I enjoyed Ms. Jolie’s debut film as a director as much as I enjoyed Ms. Ramsey’s film (We Need to Talk About Kevin).

        Wonder Woman has to be decent if not even good in order for everyone to take a woman serious when it comes to tackling a big budget film. I, for one, might blame the studio because 90% of time, interfere with the artist’s vision. But the good thing is that like Shyamalan, Bigelow, Ms. Jenkins can go low-budget and proffer original, compelling films.

        • CoffeeMinstrel

          do u believe in the theory in signs where the martians are actually devils because it makes sense because of the water u kno

          • Rohan Mohmand

            Not sure what you mean. :)

          • CoffeeMinstrel

            i didn’t get the job at fruit loops, my body is now your communion eat from me

          • moosepoops

            @cofeeminstril:disqus Have you even seen the James Bond Trilogies?

          • moosepoops

            @coffeeMinstel @thenextmnight:disqus Whats your favorite Bond Heroine!

          • CoffeeMinstrel

            yes i love all 6

          • CoffeeMinstrel

            thank u for asking whats yours

          • CoffeeMinstrel

            ur literally the worlds only m. night syamalman apologist j sayin

          • CoffeeMinstrel

            u realize james bond literally objectifies and discards women in all of his films rite

          • CoffeeMinstrel

            do u want some water pizza

          • CoffeeMinstrel

            both of ur comments were roundabout and baseless pls clarify

        • Brad Grandrino

          Fortunately the horror genre has at least been kind to women directors/writers. The Soska sisters, Mary Harron, Mary Lambert, Kathryn Bigelow, Jennifer Kent, shining newcomer Kate Siegel – all of them have directed great horror/cult films, and the list goes on. Unfortunately the horror genre is rarely if ever taken seriously by the uptight academy and critics alike. But gals will always rule there.

  • curtis

    So we’re not celebrating the fact that he’s a minority with a long career in Hollywood? Or maybe he earned his way back after self-financing the movie (The Visit) right before his latest hit that actually was well received by critics as well?

    • Allyson Johnson

      Quick question- did you read the article and just choose to ignore what she said below or did you just not comprehend it?

      “He’s a director of color, so he’s already managed to jump over a big obstacle”

      “I’m rooting for Shyamalan to succeed. We definitely need more directors of color working in Hollywood. “

      • Hari

        The fact that the article has a couple sentences of disclaimers before launching into the attack doesn’t preclude any criticism of the piece. The two lines you are quoting are no different than saying “No offense but…”.

  • William Lamotte

    Why is Shyamalan being singled out? Hes directed and or produced 10+ movies and the majority of them have made money for the studios hes worked for-so ya thats why he gets hired continuously- His movies also have a long shelf life and he has a large international audience, as long as his movies continue to make money ( irregardless of critics and reviews) hes going to be in demand-

    • Allyson Johnson

      He’s being singled out because his movie just came out and people are talking about it being his “comeback”/

      That’s why. It’s timely.

      • Brad Grandrino

        ‘Timely’ and ‘unnecessary’ often can go hand in hand.

  • Harry

    Yasmin, the message is great but there’s one fault with this piece. The fault has nothing to do with women, but the question you ask in your headline. You ask how Shyamalan continues to get directing shots.

    It’s well documented online now that Shyamalan fully financed The Visit AND Split himself. Shyamalan is the producer, the writer, the director. He’s in charge because he spent the money to do it. Blumhouse just picks up the movies for distribution, which they know will be an easy profit because they don’t spend a dime on producing so they just spend the money to advertise it.

    Shyamalan is irrelevant to the point in the article. A filmmaker like Zach Braff, whose last movie was Wish I Was Here (a critical and financial flop) was hired by WB to make some comedy Going In Style to be released in April, would potentially be more relevant to the point. I respect you bringing up a point that should be addressed, but I don’t support inaccurately bringing down someone to make that point.

  • Jon Lennon Espino

    If after reading this, all you can talk about is why M. Night Shyamalan is being criticized, you just might be part of the problem. This article only explores Shyamalan’s career as a way to bring up a much bigger issue in Hollywood. concerning women and the zero tolerance policy put on them for making even the smallest mistake.