M. Knight Shyamalan has spoken about his experience of making The Happening in a conference call to scifi.com and other news outlets, though he doesn’t appear to have made any comment about the critical massacre of the film and its poor box-office performance.
The director, promoting the imminent release of the special edition DVD, talked about the original draft of The Happening called The Green Effect, which had a broader and presumably more expensive vision of global apocalypse than the attack by suicide-inducing plants in the 2008 release. “In that draft, it was much larger scale, so it’s happening all over the world instantaneously…it was very apocalyptic,” he says. “And that one, as most of my instincts do start out, was pretty dark.”
The Happening has arguably accrued the false bad-reputation of Waterworld in terms of how it performed in the real world in box-office terms: with a budget of $60 million, it has already recouped $160 million before the release of the special edition.
There’s already been a vanilla release, but the 2-disc edition features a director’s cut with some of the violence that was removed from the film to keep its scope within the ‘R’-rating. ” The screenplay I wrote was just an impossibility to shoot as a PG-13 movie, as my other movies have been,” the director told scifi.com. “And, to some extent, the movies that I’ve been inspired by in my life–like The Exorcist, The Godfather and others–there is a visceralness to them that I hadn’t really let myself go there, except on occasion, like in the stabbing scene in The Village or a few moments in Sixth Sense or the fingers getting cut off in Signs.”