Who thought this was a good idea?
Director M. Night Shyamalan is coming to television, it was announced Thursday. The director will be partnering with Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon and SyFy channel for a put-pilot called Proof. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Proof centers on the son of a billionaire tech genius who offers a large reward for anyone who can find proof of life after death following the tragic accident and sudden passing of his parents."
So it's Batman meets Hereafter.
Shyamalan and Noxon will serve as executive producers along with Ashwin Rajan, a frequent Shyamalan collaborator.
If you're wondering about my extreme skepticism, here's why: though Shyamalan showed real talent with his early films like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, he quickly devolved into ego-driven self-indulgence with films like The Village, The Happening, and most notably, The Lady in the Water, which saw Shyamalan cast himself as a writer who could change the world. He just finished work on his latest film, After Earth, which only has the potential to be good because Will Smith's in it (and again, it's a long shot that the film won't suck). If Shyamalan is left to his own devices, he might appear in Proof as the person who finds proof of the afterlife and wins that large reward, only for the billionaire kid to discover that he actually was in the accident with his parents and is currently in the afterlife.
The positives of the project mainly reside with Noxon, who is actually a pretty darn good television writter. Need proof? Look no further than the fact that she wrote an episode of Mad Men, "The Inheritance." Her tenure on Buffy can't be undervalued, either, though we'll forget the fact that she was a writer on Glee's uneven third season.
So, here's what we're looking at: Proof could be perfectly serviceable science fiction television, or it could devolve into the same claptrap that most of Shyamalan's projects have been. Which do you think it will be?