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Ishana Night Shyamalan's The Watchers Release Date, Cast, Plot And More Details

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Ask someone to name the all-time horror directors, and you might get answers like Jordan Peele, James Wan, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Carpenter. Of course, we're willing to bet one of the first names that people say is "M. Night Shyamalan." After breaking out with the twisty "Sixth Sense," Shyamalan has largely stuck close to his horror roots, and while his career has had plenty of ups and downs, he's released some truly scary flicks, such as "Signs," "Split," and "Knock at the Cabin."

However, M. Night isn't the only talented member of his family when it comes to crafting creepy stories. His daughter — Ishana Night Shyamalan — is also pretty skilled at building tension and sending chills up and down our spines. After quite a bit of work on TV and serving as a second unit director, Ishana Night Shyamalan is now getting the chance to bring her own story to the big screen with "The Watchers," an adaptation of A.M. Shine's unsettling Irish novel. But what else do we know about the horrors young Shyamalan has in store? Well, read on for everything you need to know about "The Watchers."

When will The Watchers be released?

After a bidding war, "The Watchers" was acquired by New Line Cinema, the studio behind hits such as the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise and the "Lord of the Rings" movies. Filming soon began in Ireland, and thanks to a waiver it received during the actors' strike, the horror flick was able to continue filming while many other major productions were shut down. "The Watchers" wrapped in Dublin on September 3, 2023, and it's currently slated to hit theaters on June 7, 2024, where it will compete directly against the "John Wick" spin-off "Ballerina."

What is the plot of The Watchers?

Based on the novel by A.M. Shine, "The Watchers" will follow a 28-year-old artist by the name of Mina. According to the film's official synopsis, poor Mina will find herself "stranded in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. When Mina finds shelter, she unknowingly becomes trapped alongside three strangers that are watched and stalked by mysterious creatures each night."

Sounds pretty intense, but if you want to know a bit more about what goes down in "The Watchers," we can look to Shine's book for a little more light. For example, the forest where Mina finds herself isn't your typical woodland clime. You can't find this place on any map, and anytime a car gets near the tree line, it breaks down. Clearly, there's something eerie happening in these woods, a fact Mina learns the hard way when she hears a woman screaming, telling her to take shelter in a nearby bunker.

Once inside, as the book synopsis explains, "Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans, and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn't reach the bunker in time." Basically human pets for mysterious monsters, Mina and her fellow captive must figure out why these so-called "Watchers" have imprisoned them ... and if there's any way to escape these woods.

Who is starring in The Watchers?

One of M. Night Shyamalan's strengths as a director is his ability to pick specific actors for specific parts. Think Dave Bautista in "Knock at the Cabin," Haley Joel Osment in "The Sixth Sense," or Samuel L. Jackson in "Unbreakable." Can you imagine anyone else in those roles? We can't either. The elder Shyamalan has a knack for casting, and it seems like his daughter has the same exact superpower.

The role of Mina — the artist who finds herself trapped in a bunker, surrounded by monsters — will be portrayed by Dakota Fanning. Fanning has been in show business since the age of seven, and as a child, she blew audiences away with stellar performances in films like "Man on Fire," "War of the Worlds," and "Coraline." As an adult, she continues to pick incredibly interesting roles, such as her terrifying turn as Squeaky Fromme in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and Victorian detective Sara Howard in "The Alienist."

In addition to Fanning, we'll see an actress who's no stranger to being trapped in terrifying situations. "The Watchers" will also star Georgina Campbell, the star of the smash-hit horror film "Barbarian." In addition to leading one of the scariest films of 2022, Campbell has also worked on projects such as "Bird Box: Barcelona," "Broadchurch," and "His Dark Materials." Here, she'll be playing one of the three people held captive alongside Fanning's character.

Who is directing The Watchers?

Who's directing "The Watchers?" Well, if you've been reading this article from top to bottom, this won't be a surprise. The horror film is coming from the creative mind of Ishana Night Shyamalan. However, it may surprise you to learn that this is far from the first time she's ever called the shots behind a camera. While "The Watchers" is indeed her first feature-length directorial effort, the younger Shyamalan has plenty of experience when it comes to creating chills and thrills.

For example, Ishana has worked as the second unit director on two of M. Night's recent movies — "Old" and "Knock at the Cabin." Per Deadline, she's also been involved in the world of music videos, working with R&B singer Saleka. However, perhaps her most impressive achievement to date has been her work on the Apple TV+ series "Servant." Impressed by her short films, M. Night hired Ishana to work on the horror series, where she's directed six episodes and written quite a few as well. That writing expertise has come into play with "The Watchers," as the younger Shyamalan has also written the screenplay.

Who is producing The Watchers?

In addition to Ishana Night Shyamalan, there are quite a few talented people working behind the scenes of "The Watchers." For example, there's Richard Brener, the president and chief creative officer of New Line Cinema, who's incredibly psyched for the upcoming film. As he put it, "We couldn't be more excited to make Ishana's first film with 'The Watchers.' Equal parts visual, immersive, and terrifying, the script grips you from the first page and never lets go."

The movie also boasts an impressive lineup of producers, including Ashwin Rajan ("Wayward Pines," "Servant'), Nimitt Mankad ("Trumbo," "Danny Collins"), and Jo Homewood ("The Banshees of Inisherin," "Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi"). Of course, the most notable producer of the bunch is M. Night Shyamalan, Ishana Night's father. When news of "The Watchers" first broke, an incredibly proud M. Night took to Twitter and posted a photo of a very young Ishana visiting him on the set of one of his movies. The veteran filmmaker then tweeted, "I'll come visit your set now."