If you think back to any recent superhero flick you’ve watched, there was typically a post-credits scene that made it worth sticking through until the very end. But M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, Glass, isn’t your typical superhero flick. So, perhaps in that vein, Glass doesn't have its own post-credits scene.
Usually post-credits scenes are meant to show fans that the story isn’t over, teasing a sequel. Going into this film, fans thought it would mark the ending of the Unbreakable trilogy, which meant not giving fans any hope that there’d be another film coming eventually. But Glass doesn’t need a post-credits scene to leave the story open-ended, either.
Major spoilers ahead. To mark the end of the trilogy, Shyamalan's script kills off the three protagonists: David (Bruce Willis), Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), and Kevin, a.k.a. The Horde (James McAvoy). It’s revealed that the film’s new character, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), isn’t a real doctor; she actually is part of a sinister group (of course, they're claiming to do good) that wants to get rid of superheroes. But Mr. Glass had already planned ahead, saving camera footage that’s then uploaded on the internet, showing everyone proof that superheroes do exist. It’s inferred that with proof being shared to the world, new superheroes are bound to emerge.
But what Shyamalan does by not including a post-credits scene is create suspense. The final scene of Glass shows David’s son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark), Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), and Mr. Glass’ mom (Charlayne Woodard) sitting at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station waiting as the videos showing David, Mr. Glass, and Kevin’s powers become public. Everyone in the station is glued to their screens, amazed at their discovery. And the final image shows the station’s big TV screen showing the videos on the news, with onlookers watching the coverage. It’s a testament to the impact that Mr. Glass’ 19-year plan of creating his own comic book world in real life ultimately had.
Shyamalan already told Vulture he’s not planning on working on a sequel. But the ending is open-ended enough, despite the deaths of the main characters, that it leaves plenty of possibilities for the famed director to continue the story down the line, if he chooses to. And though it’s understandable why Shyamalan would want to move on more than a decade after the first flick, creating space for new narratives, the director has experienced massive success with his recent revisit to the Unbreakable story.
As Forbes reported, Split, the first sequel to Unbreakable, played a large role in Shyamalan coming out of “movie jail,” a term for the indefinite limbo where filmmakers’ projects are indefinitely stalled, or not doing well financially in comparison to their previous, successful films. Shyamalan suffered some setbacks when movies like the controversial Avatar: The Last Airbender live action flick and 2013’s After Earth became massive flops, making him go from being one of the most respected directors in Hollywood to being ridiculed for his work.
But, with Split, which was financed by Shyamalan himself, fans saw that the director whose work they love was officially back, and with a secret Unbreakable sequel to boot. And it’s understandable that fans would want more of these stories, featuring characters they love and the creative twists that attracted fans in the first place. Shyamalan might want to move on and prove that he can create other compelling, original narratives, but just like with his films’ twists, we never know what we’re going to get in the future.