'Glass': M. Night Shyamalan Previews "Grounded Superhero Movie" at CinemaCon

M. Night Shyamalan_CinemaCon - Getty - H 2018
<p>M. Night Shyamalan at CinemaCon in Las Vegas while promoting <em>Glass</em>.&nbsp;</p>   |   Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CinemaCon
Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and Sarah Paulson also were on hand to show off the first footage.

"It’s about time I got the title role in my own motherfucking movie," Samuel L. Jackson joked Wednesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where he debuted a first look at Glass

The film has been years in the making and combines characters from 2000's Unbreakable with last year's Split, which, in a twist, was a surprise sequel to Unbreakable.

Jackson was joined by Glass co-stars James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Sarah Paulson and director M. Night Shyamalan to debut the footage, which opens with Paulson's character explaining what she does.

"I specialize in those individuals who believe they are superheroes," she says.

Siting across from her in monochromatic uniforms are Jackson's Mr. Glass and Willis' David Dunn (from Unbreakable) and McAvoy's Kevin (from Split).

The rest of the trailer sees the trio in various vignettes climbing on ceilings, bending iron poles and beating up bad guys.

Says Mr. Glass at the end of the trailer: "I have been waiting for the world to see that we exist."

"Finally, the thriller genre and the comic book genre have come together," said Shyamalan, who called Glass the "first really grounded superhero movie."

Glass was a passion project for Shyamalan that became a reality after Universal and Blumhouse's Split became a critical and commercial success last year, earning $278.5 million on a $9 million budget.

The writer-director had initially included McAvoy's character Kevin Wendell Crumb — a man with multiple personalities — in his Unbreakable script, but ultimately excised him. When it came time to make Split, Shyamalan kept it a secret that the film was tied to the Unbreakable universe, until a last-minute cameo from Willis revealed the connection.

Unbreakable, released by Disney’s Touchstone label, deconstructed the superhero genre, with Willis playing a man who is essentially indestructible and Jackson playing a comic book enthusiast whose brittle bones make him easily harmed and drive him to villainous acts in order to seek out an unbreakable individual who is the opposite of himself.

Ana Taylor-Joy, who starred in Split, reprises her role as Casey Cooke in Glass. The film, from Universal Pictures and Disney arm Buena Vista International, is set to hit theaters Jan. 18, 2019.