30 Little Known Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About M. Night Shyamalan


Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan is an Indian-American director, screenwriter, author and producer well known for his twist with surprise ending in his film. Here are some interesting facts about the director:

  1. He was born Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan, on August 06, 1970 in Mahe, Puducherry, India.
  2. His father Nelliate C. Shyamalan, and his mother Jayalakshmi, are medical graduates. He has an older sister Veena Shyamalan.
  3. The family shifted to United States few weeks after his birth and he was raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania. He is a Hindu by faith.
  4. He did his schooling at Waldron Mercy Academy, Merion Station and later at The Episcopal Academy, New Town Square, Pennsylvania.
  5. Shyamalan earned merit scholarship at New York University and graduated in 1992 from Tisch School of the Arts, Manhattan.
  6. During his stay at New York University, he playfully added ‘Night’ as a middle name to make his biography more attractive. Since then he came to be known as Night Shyamalan.
  7. He made forty five home videos in his youth with his Super 8 camera presented to him by his father. He is a big fan of Steven Spielberg.
  8. He made his directional debut with ‘Praying with Anger’ which he also wrote and starred. The film was funded by his friends and family.
  9. He was paid $5 million by Disney, for the screenplay of "Signs," making him the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood in the year 2002.
  10. The film ‘Praying with Anger,’ a semi-autobiographical drama made during his days at New York University, was screened primarily at film festivals.
  11. With his next film ‘Wide Awake’ he earned a nomination for ‘1999 Young Artist Award’ for best drama. The film’s script was written in 1991, and the production was completed four years later, but was released only in 1998.
  12. Shyamalan co-wrote the script for the 1999 film ‘Stuart Little’ with Greg Brooker and was in talks with Steven Spielberg, his longtime idol to write screenplay for the fourth series of ‘Indiana Jones,’ but the talk fell through.
  13. In 2013, in an interview to, he claimed that he ghost wrote the screenplay for the 1999 film ‘She’s All That’ directed by Robert Iscove. The claim was questioned by R. Lee Fleming Jr., who is credited with the screenplay for the movie.
  14. With his 1999 supernatural horror thriller film ‘The Sixth Sense’ he received international recognition for his style of film making, especially for the surprise ending.
  15. The film ‘The Sixth Sense’ was a box-office success and Shyamalan was awarded the ‘Nebula Award’ and the ‘Satellite Award’ for Best Script apart from being nominated for several other awards including six Academy Awards and four British Academy Awards.
  16. In 2000, he wrote and directed ‘Unbreakable’ one of the best films in his career. The film received critical acclaim and was a box-office success. It was briefly similar to a comic book titled ‘Mage: The Hero Discovered.’
  17. The 2002 film ‘Sign’ a science fiction thriller, was a box-office success and earned positive review from film critic Roger Ebert, who wrote: ‘Shyamalan is born film maker, able to summon apprehension out of thin air.’
  18. The psychological thriller film ‘The Village’ received a mixed review. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score.
  19. The film was originally titled ‘Wood’ before changing it as there was a film already by that name. The film had high level of secrecy to protect the expected twist and also that the script for the film was stolen over a year before the film was released, prompting many pre-views of the film.
  20. Although he had made cameo appearance in his earlier films, his dark fantasy film ‘Lady in Water’ was the first film in which he played a significant role as a supporting actor.
  21. His 2008 thriller film ‘The Happening’ was a moderate success and his first ‘R’ rated film. The film received negative reviews and was nominated for four Golden Raspberry Awards, including worst screenplay and worst direction for Shyamalan.
  22. The film ‘The Last Airbender’ which was produced, wrote and directed by him, is based on the Nickelodeon animated series and was considered as worst picture by ‘Raspberry.’ This was his first film which was not based on an original script.
  23. The film entered into controversy with ‘Media Action-Network for Asian Americans’ calling for film boycott for casting white actors in the East Asian and Inuit-influenced Avatar universe.
  24. In 2008, he collaborated with ‘Media Rights Capital’ to form Production Company called ‘Night Chronicles. In 2010, he produced the film ‘Devil’ first of three film as per deal.
  25. The film ‘After Earth’ the scientific action film, which he co-wrote and directed, was based on the story conceived by the lead act, Will Smith. The film was found wanting in many front including story and acting.
  26. His film ‘The Visit’ made with low budget out of his fee from his earlier project was a financial success and was well received.
  27. In 2004, he was involved in a media hoax with the ‘Sci-Fi Channel’ which claimed in its documentary that Shyamalan was nearly drowned in a frozen pond, when he experienced supernatural power. Later it was admitted that it was a pre-release publicity for ‘The Village.’
  28. As a student at the NYU, he met an Indian student Bhavana Vaswani and proposed with a note slipped into her cookie. They married in 1993 and have two daughters.
  29. He is very much interested in sports particularly tennis and basketball. He is a season ticket holder of the Philadelphia 76ers.
  30. In 2008 he was honored by the Government of India with ‘Padma Shri,’ the fourth highest award in the field of Arts.
  31. M. Night Shyamalan Net Worth: $50 Million

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