Trap: Release Date And Other Things We Know About M. Night Shyamalan’s Movie

I believe there are many great M. Night Shyamalan movies, but there are also a few films by the famous filmmaker that I do not hold in the highest regard. Nevertheless, each and every time I hear that the Academy Award nominee and creative force behind one of the best horror movies of all time, 1999’s The Sixth Sense, has a new project in development, it never fails to pique my interest and Trap is certainly no exception.

There is very little that we know so far about this upcoming horror movie, which is just the way I prefer any movie I see it. However, we cannot deny that the details which have been revealed about Trap — in regards to the plot and the cast —  certainly seem exciting. Without further ado, let’s go over what we have learned about the new M. Night Shyamalan movie.

There are actually multiple horror movies currently trapped in the TBD section of our upcoming 2024 movie release schedule. Luckily, Trap is not one of them…

What Is The Trap Release Date?

Dave Bautista in Knock at the Cabin

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

In February 2023, Entertainment Weekly reported that the of the M. Night Shyamalan’s next movie, Trap, is set to hit the big screen on August 2, 2024, along with a reveal of the title. The news came shortly after the release of the last feature-length release, Knock at the Cabin — which is currently available to stream with an Amazon Prime Video subscription.

Trap Is A Thriller Taking Place At A Concert

Bruce Willis in Unbreakable

(Image credit: Touchstone)

As per usual, Shyamalan is keeping the details regarding the story of Trap locked up for the time being. However, as Deadline reported in June 2023, those who attended CineEurope got to see a pre-taped message of the filmmaker describing the movie as “psychological thriller set at a concert.”I think it goes without saying that information only brings up more questions.

For starters, what sort of psychological thrills can we expect to see at this show — perhaps something as grounded as a mass hostage situation at an indoor concert venue or even a little more surreal, like a singer with the ability to control people’s minds with their voice? Also, is the title a hint to the genre of music that will be featured (as “trap” refers to a style of electronic dance music that gained popularity in the early 2010s)? Regardless, as a music fan and a horror fan, Trap already has my interest based on the scarce information provided alone.

Josh Hartnett Stars In The Trap Cast

Josh Hartnett in Oppenheimer

(Image credit: Universal)

When it comes to casting, M. Night Shyamalan movies almost always seem to employ a cast of highly esteemed A-listers and that will reportedly be the case for Trap. According to an exclusive by Film Updates, Josh Hartnett is set to star in the film, which will be his first collaboration with Shyamalan, but far from his first encounter with the horror genre. The Oppenheimer cast member even made his acting debut in the seventh installment of the Halloween movies — 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later — before leading the Faculty cast, fighting vampires in Alaska in 2007’s 30 Days of Night, and playing a werewolf on Showtime’s hit series, Penny Dreadful

The new film is also going to be a family affair of sorts for Shyamalan as the Trap cast also reportedly includes his eldest daughter, Saleka, in her acting debut, but not her first professional collaboration with her father, however. The 27-year-old is an accomplished R&B singer-songwriter whose music has been featured in some of Shyamalan’s work — namely 2021’s Old and the Apple TV+ series, Servant, which he executive produces. Shyamalan also directed the music video her Saleka’s 2021 single, “The Sky Cries.”

Trap Is Written And Directed By M. Night Shyamalan

M. Night Shyamalan from Old featurette

(Image credit: Universal)

As confirmed by EW’s aformentioned article, M. Night Shyamalan is both the writer and director of Trap, which should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his work. He has been involved in the script-writing process of every single film he has directed so far. Yet, he is not credited as a writer for the episodes of Servant and Wayward Pines that he helmed, so there is that.

Not to mention, Shyamalan has written and/or produced a couple films that were handled by other directors. For instance (and this might come as a shock to some people), he ghost-wrote the teen rom-com She’s All That and he and Greg Brooker collaborated on the beloved kids movies, 1999’s Stuart Little, which was helmed by The Lion King director Rob Minkoff. He also produced and wrote the story for director John Erick Dowdle’s Devil from 2010. 

Trap Is “Very New Compared To” Shyamalan’s Previous Work

Thomasin McKenzie and Alex Wolff in Old

(Image credit: Universal )

While we have established that M. Night Shyamalan is usually behind his his film’s screenplays in some capacity, his last few efforts were, notably, not bred from his own ideas. Old was inspired by the French graphic novel Sandcastle from Pierre-Oscar Lévy and Ferederik Peeters and Knock at the Cabin, at least, bears a different ending than its source material: Paul Tremblay book, The Cabin at the End of the World. However, Trap is a different story, as he reflected in the following quote from an NME story:

I have a new idea that I’ve started writing. It’s out in 2024 and it’s very, very exciting. It’s a thriller. It’s very unusual and very new compared to what I’ve been trying to do [recently], but I’m feeling very excited about the story, so much so that I can’t wait to tell it to you guys.

Even Shyamalan acknowledges in the quote above — before the title for Trap was officially announced — that the new film is his freshest idea in a little while. That makes me even more excited for it because, as much as I enjoyed Knock at the Cabin and realize that Old has its fans, I think most would agree that he is usually at his best when working with stories from his own imagination — such as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and its sequels, or the alien invasion classic, Signs.

The Thriller Is Part Of Shyamalan’s New Deal With Warner Bros.

M. Night Shyamalan

(Image credit: CBS)

For several years, M. Night Shyamalan called Disney his home — many of his films were released under the company’s Touchstone banner. In 2015, his take on the found-footage thriller genre, The Visit (also one of the best Blumhouse horror movies) marked his first partnership with later partnered with Universal. Trap will be the filmmaker’s first Warner Bros. release.

According to a report by Deadline, Trap is actually part of new, multi-year deal he signed with the prestigious studio in early 2023. Also involved in a Warner Bros. contract is another one of the filmmaker’s talented daughters, Ishana Shyamalan, who is making her feature-length debut in June 2024 with her upcoming adaptation of a book called The Watchers, by A.M. Shine, which will star Dakota Fanning. The filmmaker previously wrote and directed episodes of Servant, was her father’s second unit director on Old, and has also helmed multiple music videos for her aforementioned sister, Saleka.

It looks like there is a lot more that Shyamalan fans can look out for, and not just from Night. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates on Trap.


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