The studio has been consuming its rivals – and creating a film industry devoid of the innovation championed by its founder
This kind of Hollywood imperialism is not encouraging news if you fear that reduced competition begets reduced creativity, even as Disney’s substantial fanbase – umbilically bound by the childhood nostalgia in which the corporation trades – zealously cheers it on. What other acquisitions are on its wishlist? Are we seeing a return to the rigidly controlled Hollywood studio system of the 1940s and 1950s – only with one studio effectively as the system? If so, a movement not dissimilar to the demands to break up big tech currently rippling towards Silicon Valley might be in order.
This weekend sees the release of M Night Shyamalan’s Glass, the long-awaited follow-up to his 2000 superhero drama Unbreakable and his 2017 thriller Split. Like Unbreakable, Glass is interested in deconstructing the figure of the comic book superhero (and supervillain), calling attention to the tropes of its own genre while placing them in a larger historical and pseudo-scientific context. But whereas this meta-narrative examination felt fresh and exciting in Unbreakable, it now proves to be an utter bore.