Director M. Night Shyamalan has revealed some background on his next feature film, and first since 2019’s Glass, and the story is packing some seriously Twilight Zone-like vibes. Titled Old, and in production now, the film traps all of its characters in a single location where the pace of aging seems to have become rapidly accelerated. It’s an adaptation of a graphic novel titled Sandcastle, created by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters. Shyamalan tweeted the below poster and photo from the set, indicating that he’s at work on Old right now.
The plot is described as an existential horror story, perhaps in the same vein as Charlie Kaufman’s recent I’m Thinking of Ending Things. The events occur on a beach, where a group of people stumble upon what seems to be a preternatural effect, but are unable to escape. Shyamalan reportedly pursued an adaptation of the film after receiving the graphic novel as a Father’s Day gift.
The graphic novel’s more detailed premise is as follows:
It’s a perfect beach day, or so thought the family, young couple, a few tourists, and a refugee who all end up in the same secluded, idyllic cove filled with rock pools and sandy shore, encircled by green, densely vegetated cliffs. But this utopia hides a dark secret. First there is the dead body of a woman found floating in the crystal-clear water. Then there is the odd fact that all the children are aging rapidly. Soon everybody is growing older?every half hour?and there doesn’t seem to be any way out of the cove. Levy’s dramatic storytelling works seamlessly with Peeters’s sinister art to create a profoundly disturbing and fantastical mystery.
That perhaps sounds like a concept meant for a half-hour entry in an anthology series, but as we’ve said before, Shyamalan typically does his best work with more simple premises, rather than when he gets overambitious. Old can at least boast an interesting and talented cast, including Gael García Bernal, Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Vicky Krieps, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Rufus Sewell, Embeth Davidtz, and Emun Elliott.
According to Indiewire, the release date for Old is currently set for July 23, 2021, but we’ll have to take that with a grain of salt. Check out the first set photo and poster below, via Shyamalan himself.