(Note: This article contains spoilers for M. Night Shyamalan's Split and several other films from the director.)
M. Night Shyamalan's Split is dividing opinion and causing controversy, but whether you love or hate it, the movie is also the best films the director has produced in years. (Check out the trailer below if you haven't see it yet.)
A large number of the conversations regarding the movie on both sides of the fence are due to the film's final twist, which ties the #Split directly to another fan-favorite movie of the director's, Unbreakable.
It's a bold move and one that cracks open the door to a potential M. Night Shyamalan shared movie universe.
However, is there enough scope for him to build his movies into a Nightverse?
Absolutely, and here are six Shyamalan movies that could easily connect to Split
This is the most obvious connection to anyone who has seen the movie as there are at least two characters who appear in both films, either by mention such as Elijah "Mr. Glass" Price or onscreen like David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis).
This was clever as the movie was hyped and marketed as a separate film, yet they exist in the same world. The Horde, as Kevin is now known, could very well face off against David Dunn in the next movie or there could be an even bigger threat out there that requires the two of them (and perhaps even Mr. Glass) to work together in a Hannibal/Clarice/Will Graham type way.
2. The Sixth Sense
The original hit movie that launched M.Night Shyamalan's career to the highest levels of Hollywood was notable for it's lead character Cole Sear, who was played by the young Haley Joel Osment.
Cole's ability to "see dead people" easily fits into the world Split creates. If Kevin can become The Horde, and David Dunn can be unbreakable, then Cole can easily be able to speak to dead people in that same world where people have superhuman abilities.
Kevin's mother, his psychiatrist, and even his victims could all impart valuable information in how to stop The Horde in another film. Whether David is going after him, Casey, or another character, finding Cole could be crucial to the next movie.
Haley Joel Osment could easily return as Cole and his addition would really add a new dimention to the universe that Split and #Unbreakable have created.
The Hess Family were besieged by aliens in Signs and one or several of the family could exist in the same world as Split and Unbreakable. At the end of #Signs we saw Graham Hess (#MelGibson) return to his faith, having lost it prior to the arrival of their unwanted visitors only to regain it when his wife's last words became prophetic.
We saw Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) find his inner strength and then there were the two children Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo (Abigail Breslin) who also survived the trauma.
So how would all they fit into a shared Nightverse?
It's possible that one of Kevin's many personas or Casey may make a new friend during the next movie. Morgan or Bo Hess would be an interesting choice for a boyfriend or girlfriend, particularly if Bo is in a relationship with Kevin or Morgan is with with Barry.
There could even be a cameo from Merrill or Graham, trying to track down their missing family member when things inevitably go wrong or joining up with David, Cole and Casey to face him down.
Both Culkin and Breslin have grown into very good actors since Signs who would bring gravitas to the sequel and the angle of #TheHorde "integrating." Also, treating their partner as another persona would be interesting.
4. The Happening
That god-awful movie where the plants tried to kill us all? Yes, that one.
Think about it. What if that wasn't nature that was the villain, but another Mr. Glass-style super-villain out there that made it appear that's what happened. Perhaps a genius who engineered the plant life disturbance as an experiment or maybe someone with a gift they didn't quite understand at the time that caused the mayhem? What if it caused body chemistry alterations in people like Kevin from Split, allowing for the supernatural changes he makes?
This is perhaps the most tenuous of the potential Nightverse links, but it is one that could redeem The Happening. Arguably the biggest criticism of the film was that everything seemed to solve itself with no intervention or answer as to why it occurred. A crossover film would help solve that problem by providing greater context -- as long as they don't bring Mark Wahlberg back unless he's getting a lawnmower moment.
5. The Visit
The Visit was the first part of Shyamalan's recent return to form and featured the terrifying Pop and Nana that gave many of us nightmares. But what if they were related in some way to Kevin's mother, explaining her odd behavior or perhaps even one of Kevin's personas like Patricia?
Furthermore, what if Pop and Nana were Kevin's grandparents and he is if not genetically, by blood related to Becca and Tyler who survived their ordeal?
Another option is that Casey is somehow involved with that family and perhaps she gets to know the kids in her new life and their combined experiences help to defeat Kevin/The Horde in another film.
Any of these would be a cool twist for a sequel.
6. The Village
The Village has one of Shyamalan's better twists. It's a great moment when we learn that the isolated Pennsylvania village of Covington's story doesn't take place in the 19th Century, but instead in the modern day and was built in the 70's as a "safe haven" for those suffering grief or mental anguish.
It is clear from Split that Kevin's mother had issues as well as himself and they are possibly linked to grief over the death of his father?
What if they were in some way linked to the Walker Preserve?
Perhaps they left early in Kevin's life, starting the traumatic splits in Kevin. Perhaps his personas are people he knew in Covington. Perhaps Covington was forcibly shut down after the events of The Village and people died including Kevin's father.
Kevin would be old enough to have been a young boy in the early days of Covington and perhaps Noah's death triggered the end of The Village rather than saving everyone as they hoped. It would certainly fit Kevin's traumatic childhood and Kevin Wendall Crumb is just the kind of name people had in that movie.
These are just a few of the M.Night Shyamalan movies that could easily be connected into a shared Nightverse. Do you think it's a good idea? Which ones would you like to see connect most of all? Let me know in the comments below.