M. Night Shyamalan Wanted ‘Trap’ to Feel Like a Real Concert Film: ‘It Wasn’t Just a Thing in the Background’

Filmmaker and master of suspense M. Night Shyamalan is returning to the big screen next month with his concert-set thriller, “Trap,” but the big twist is “Trap” is about more than just whatever twist Shyamalan has cooked up.

The film has been largely hyped for the return of Josh Hartnett as a leading man, especially in a dark role that sees him as a serial killer trying to evade a trap laid out for him at a pop concert. But in a recent interview with Empire, Shyamalan boasts another huge reason to see “Trap” in theaters is that viewers will be getting an actual concert film in addition to his standard mystery fare. In fact, when asked how he pitched the film, Shyamalan said, “What if ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ happened at a Taylor Swift concert?”

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While Shyamalan was partially inspired by a real-life sting operation from 1985 conducted by U.S. Marshals and DC Metro Police, which saw over 100 fugitives arrested after coaxing them to a stadium with free NFL tickets, he was also greatly influenced by the rising music career of his daughter Saleka. She started her career opening for artists like Boyz II Men and Summer Walker, and Saleka’s debut album “Seance” released in 2022.

Saleka and her father have collaborated previously, with her contributing music to Night’s Apple TV+ series “Servant” and Night directing one of her music videos. But they’ve never collaborated on the level they went for in “Trap,” which sees Saleka as mega-star pop singer Lady Raven.

“I directed an entire concert!” Night said of the experience. “And it wasn’t just a thing in the background. It’s equally important. There is no pretend concert going on. I love the idea of cinema as windows within windows. One of the reasons to come see the movie at the movie theater is because there’s literally a real concert that you can see nowhere except in that movie.”

More important than providing a showcase for his daughter or even trying to capitalize on the re-emerging popularity of the concert film, Night was most interested in crafting a truly unique experience.

“I really do believe in the original movie,” Night said to Empire. “I want the industry to move towards more original storytelling. I think audiences would really like it. Look, I know there’s safety in IP. But it’s really important that we come to the movies and see something we’ve never seen before. I’ll keep fighting for that.”

“Trap” opens in theaters August 2. Check out the trailer for the film here.

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