Samuel L. Jackson is ecstatic. “It’s about time I got the title role in my own motherf—ing movie,” the Avengers actor told the CinemaCon crowd in Las Vegas, anxious for a first look at his new movie, Glass.
Accompanied by director M. Night Shyamalan, Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, and Anya Taylor-Joy, Jackson helped introduce the first trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to Unbreakable and Split. With it came the first footage (though it hasn’t been made available to the public yet) and new plot details.
It begins with Paulson’s character introducing herself as the red-haired Dr. Ellie Staple, a psychiatrist who specializes in people suffering from delusions of grandeur. Even more specifically, she explains, people who “believe themselves to be superheroes.” The audience she is addressing is none other than Bruce Willis’ David Dunn (from Unbreakable), James McAvoy’s Kevin and his Split-personalities, and Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price (a.k.a. Mr. Glass), sitting across from her in an institution.
Patricia, one of Kevin’s personalities, claps delicately and replies, “good for you.”
The footage shows all three men dealing with their extraordinary abilities that make them outsiders, and Dr. Staple’s pursuit to understand them in that age-old dichotomy of heroes versus villains. “The three of you have convinced yourselves that you have extraordinary gifts, like something out of a comic book,” she says.
Dr. Staple has no doubt that Kevin has a whole bunch of personalities jostling around in his head. “What I am questioning,” she tells Patricia, “is your belief that you are something more than human.”
“And yet it is true,” answers a deeper voice from the monster behind Split.
Even more spine-tingling is when Mr. Glass chimes in. Determined to let the world “see that we exist,” he seeks a partnership with The Beast. “That sounds like the bad guys teaming up,” he proclaims.
Taylor-Joy also appears in the footage as Casey Cooke. After surviving the lair of The Beast in Split, she now stands in a comic book shop with friends, backed by neon lights: one reads “heroes” and the other reads “villains.” The trailer ends on Elijah introducing himself to Kevin’s hive mind as “first name, Mister; last name, Glass.”
“Eighteen years ago, I based a movie around a crazy idea: what if comic books were based on reality?” Shyamalan told the audience. “And in Unbreakable, I tried to tell the origin story of a superhero that lives in the real world, David Dunn, played by Bruce Willis.”
With Split, he then based a movie on “another crazy question: what if the afflictions, the disorders that society thinks makes a person damaged or broken actually are gifts that make them exceptional?” From it came “the origin story for an anarchist that could be good or could be bad.”
Paulson then posed another question for Glass: “What if these real-life supervillains and superheroes are somehow locked up together? I mean, what could go wrong?”
Shyamalan called the film “the first truly grounded comic book movie.”
Glass will open in theaters on Jan. 18, 2019.