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Unbreakable (2000) Poster

(2000)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Cameo (1)  | Director Trademark (3)  | Spoilers (25)
Writer and Director M. Night Shyamalan always had Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in mind to play the roles of David Dunn and Elijah Price.
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The glass cane that Elijah Price uses was Samuel L. Jackson's idea.
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The film is shot as a series of long (very long, by Hollywood standards) tracking shots, often with stark shadows or unusual camera angles, to mimic the storyboard flow of a comic book.
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Of all the films he's made, this is M. Night Shyamalan's personal favorite.
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One of Quentin Tarantino's favorite films.
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Charlayne Woodard, who plays the mother to Samuel L. Jackson's character, is actually almost a full five years younger than her on-screen son.
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M. Night Shyamalan came up with the idea for this movie while filming The Sixth Sense (1999), which also starred Bruce Willis.
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Shot in sequence.
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The film derived from the first third of the original script. M. Night Shyamalan felt no connection to the last two thirds of the text, and decided to discard them.
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In the scene where David looks back at the drug dealer, played by M. Night Shyamalan, and catches the character furtively staring back, the movie makes use of the scary shiny glasses trope. This trope is commonly used in Japanese manga and animé to indicate the sinister intentions of a villain.
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The stadium that David Dunn (Bruce Willis) works at is actually Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania. It is the oldest stadium in the country, and the first to have an electronic scoreboard, an upper deck, and the first site of a live radio and television broadcast.
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This marks the fourth film to feature Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. The others were Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995).
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The first comic that Elijah receives is an issue of "Active Comics". The logo is deliberately reminiscent of the original logo of "Action Comics", the series that introduced Superman.
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Julianne Moore was offered the part of Audrey Dunn but turned it down to work on Hannibal (2001).
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Elijah asks David what made him choose protection as a career out of all the things he could have done, such as "founding a chain of restaurants". In reality, Bruce Willis was one of the investors (and highly publicized celebrity "owners") of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.
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Near the end of the movie, Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson) is sitting in his wheelchair below three comic book covers, Thor to the left, Daredevil to the right and Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury was redesigned around this time in the image of Jackson, who went on to play him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which co-star Thor. Although Daredevil has yet to appear in a movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he has appeared in his own self-titled series, and The Defenders (2017), which are television shows within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Second collaboration between Bruce Willis and M. Night Shyamalan after previously working together on The Sixth Sense (1999). Between the two films, Willis transitioned his hairstyle from the receding hairline style he used throughout the 90s, to the completely bald look he has used for most roles and appearances since 2000.
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Marsha Dietlein's scenes as "Claire" were all cut from the film.
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Robin Wright and Michael Kelly would go on to have leading roles in House of Cards (2013); And Chance Kelly and Damian Young also appeared on that series in recurring roles.
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Dedicated to Elizabeth Lawrence.
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The gloves Samuel L. Jackson's character wears at the end of the film are Nomex flight gloves.
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Not only did Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson co-star in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), but Richard Council, who plays Willis' boss in this movie, played terrorist/fake cop Otto in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), and was killed by Willis in that film.
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When David goes to the station to be with people, his rain poncho says FSU.
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Spenser Treat Clark had a role on Agents of Shield. A connection with Samuel L Jackson.
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Director Cameo 

M. Night Shyamalan: Stadium drug dealer.
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Director Trademark 

M. Night Shyamalan: [Philadelphia] Set in Philadelphia, like most of his films.
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M. Night Shyamalan: [car accident] A car accident is a pivotal point in David and Audrey's relationship.
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M. Night Shyamalan: [twist ending]
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The scene where David's son tries to shoot him to prove he has super powers is reminiscent of an actual incident in which George Reeves was once confronted by a child who threatened to shoot him with a real gun while he was in his Superman costume. Reeves got the boy to put the gun down by convincing him it would ricochet and hurt someone else.
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Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a real, but rare disease. Australian celebrity and reality television show personality Quentin Kenihan (who is disabled in real-life, which was seen and depicted in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)) was born with the disease.
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The scene at the stadium of which David Dunn brushes past a mother and child and senses child abuse just before he confronts the drug dealer is believed to be Kevin Crumb and his mother from the movie Split (2016).
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Since the release of Split (2016), it has been confirmed by M. Night Shyamalan, that they happen in the same universe.
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The name Elijah is a Biblical reference. Elijah was prophesied to return to Earth to pave the way for the coming of the Son of David, a savior.
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As in comic books, the main characters have their identified color schemes. David's is green and Elijah's is purple. They show up in their clothes, the wallpaper and bed sheets in their houses, Elijah's note to David, and various personal items, among others.
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Bruce Willis' character is named David Dunn. It is very common for the "secret identities" of comic book heroes, particularly the Marvel ones, to be alliterative (for example, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Matt Murdock and Reed Richards). Even DC's Superman was also Clark Kent who had a somewhat alliterative name, and many "LL" co-stars including Lois Lane and Lex Luthor.
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When Elijah's mother gives her son his first comic book, she mentions that it is a good one with a surprise ending. Her quote foreshadows the plot of the movie.
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Several scenes relating to the "Mr. Glass" character involve glass:
  • As a newborn, he's primarily seen reflected in mirrors.
  • As a young child, he's seen reflected in a blank television screen.
  • He leaves his calling card on the windshield of David Dunn's car.
  • He's reflected in a glass frame in his art gallery.
  • His walking stick is made of glass.
Comic books seen behind him in one scene are of Thor, who, for a time during the 1980s, had a curse upon him that made his bones turn brittle and easy to break.
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The use of bright saturated colors (red, blue, orange, et cetera) in a scene of muted color is intended to be reminiscent of a comic-book. This is used most notably to highlight the people in David's visions, but is also used on other occasions (for example, the little girl in the yellow coat on the train).
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In the scene where Elijah's mother gives him a present placed across the street, it is wrapped in the color purple. This happens to be Samuel L. Jackson's favorite color. His character often wears the color purple. (Samuel also convinced George Lucas to make his light-saber purple.)
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The newspaper article telling of David's heroism reads: SAVED "Hero" Rescues two children; Parents found dead in house Byline: By Nicole Marsella TELEGRAPH STAFF WRITER Story: Police today are investigating what appears to have been a home invasion that left three dead in Bala Cynwyd. Law enforcement agents and detectives are baffled by the circumstances and motivations of a good Samaritan who last night rescued two small children. Details of the incident are sketchy, but police believe that after freeing the children, the unknown hero struggled with, and killed, the home invader responsible for the deaths of the parents. The police are still puzzling over the identity of the "hero". The children described him as approximately six feet tall, wearing a dark green hooded rain poncho. The children's names have been withheld until notification of next of kin. Police, at this time, are still trying to determine the identity of the alleged assailant. Any information leading to his identity would be greatly appreciated by the Philadelphia Police. Police made a grisly discovery after being summoned to the suburban house by neighbors. ...(illegible).
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M. Night Shymalan has said that the only way he'll make a third "Unbreakable" movie is if he can come with an idea for a movie that can also stand on its own.
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In the train scene at the beginning of the movie, a ticking clock noise can be heard. This ticking stops just before the train accelerates and loses control.
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When David and his son first meet Elijah, there is a protracted shot, when the son has gone out of the room, when the lampshade on the desk is perfectly positioned behind David's head and looks like an aura or halo.
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Elijah Price's distinctive hairstyle was based on the Civil War-era activist Frederick Douglass, whose name coincidentally contains the word "Glass".
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David's green raincoat makes him bear a striking resemblance to the DC Comics character The Spectre, an Immortal being, tasked with punishing the wicked. Like David, he wears a green hood that obscures his face.
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David often wears a hooded raincoat, resembling the cape-and-hood costumes of many traditional superhero characters.
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We see four characters die on-screen, and hear about a total of five hundred thirteen other off-screen deaths.
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David Dunn wears the raincoat to protect him from his "kryptonite," water
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The first of the Eastrail 177 trilogy which consists of: Unbreakable (2000) Split (2016) Glass (2019)
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The revelation of Elijah's role in the three major disasters is foreshadowed in the scene of him being wheeled out of the comic book store by the impatient clerk. He deliberately crashes his wheelchair three times into the stands, knocking comic books off of the shelves. The third time he does this a comic book, "Century Comics 117: Sentryman vs. The Coalition Of Evil", falls into his lap and intrigues him: this reflects how he finally found David Dunn after the third disaster he caused; the derailing of Eastrail 177.
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This movie and Signs (2002), both directed by M. Night Shyamalan share common themes of someone having a weakness, and that weakness being water.
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When David Dunn (Bruce Willis) meets Kelly (Leslie Stephanson) on the train, Kelly is wearing a purple colored top, very similar to the inside of the coat worn by Elijah Price a.k.a. Mr. Glass (Samuel Jackson) throughout the movie, foreshadowing the latter's involvement in the train crash.
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As a hint to the "why" of David's situation, the back of his parka reads "Security". Also when he follows the worker in the railroad station, a sign above the door the worker exits through reads "Maintenance".
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