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M. Night Shyamalan Explains Dave Bautista’s Casting in Next Film Knock at the Cabin

Dave Bautista will star in M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin, the next film from the Old director.


Old helmer M. Night Shyamalan’s next film will star Dave Bautista in the lead role and it was a very easy casting choice for the veteran director. In December, it was reported that Bautista had boarded Knock at the Cabin, the next feature film to be written and directed by Shyamalan. No details are known about the film’s plot beyond that it needed the actor who had just the right look and presence to pull off the central role, qualities Shyamalan found in Bautista.

Speaking about the film with The Hollywood Reporter, Shyamalan says he was particularly impressed with Bautista’s performance in Blade Runner 2049. Shyamalan especially appreciated how Bautista is able to convey so much while saying nothing at all. It even gave him flashbacks of Heath Ledger’s iconic performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, so though he hadn’t known who Bautista was at the time, he was instantly impressed with the Army of the Dead actor.


“I was really taken by what Denis [Villeneuve] and Dave did in that scene in Blade Runner. He was still in a way that was powerful. There’s a type of stillness where you’re not doing nothing; you’re doing everything and you’re still. Your essence of what you’re thinking is coming off your body. I always tell actors that I can definitely shoot the back of you. If you watch the back of Heath Ledger at the beginning of The Dark Knight, the second I saw his back, I thought, ‘I’m seeing one of the greatest performances ever.'”

Shyamalan goes on to detail how Bautista’s presence in that film stuck in his head, clearly having an impact on the director. As it turned out, Bautista perfectly embodied the main character Shyamalan had in mind for Knock at the Cabin, and he proceeded to send out the offer. Fortunately, Bautista was quick to come on board.

“I could see it just from the way he was standing. Every cell in your body will do what it’s supposed to do if you’re thinking something correctly. So don’t just be blank. You have to think it. So don’t show me anything because your body is going to show me. And Dave was embodying all of this philosophy in that scene, and I thought he was a really unusual person because he is who he is and he’s that big. I didn’t know who he was at that time, and he stuck in my head. So when this script came, I was like, ‘There seems to be one guy who can play this giant human being and do the stillness.’ So I asked Dave.”

Related: Here Are 5 Reasons Why a Gears of War Movie with Dave Bautista Could Work

M. Night Shyamalan Isn’t Saying Much Else About His New Movie

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M. Night Shyamalan may be dishing out details about Dave Bautista’s casting, but he’s staying mum about the plot of Knock at the Cabin. The twist-loving director is known for being rather private about his movies while they’re in production, preferring to save as many surprises as possible for the filmgoers who come to see them. He did however provide a small clue in noting that it’s “very emotional.”

“I don’t know what this means, so it’ll be interesting to see at the end of it all, but it’s the fastest script I’ve ever written. Signs was the fastest script that I wrote before this. I don’t know if that’s to do with the engine, the movement of it, but we’ll see. I’ve enjoyed it so much, and it’s very emotional.”

Knock at the Cabin will be released on Feb. 3, 2023.

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