The Watchers: Dakota Fanning stars in Ishana Night Shyamalan thriller

Dakota Fanning has signed on to star in director Ishana Night Shyamalan’s feature debut, the thriller The Watchers

M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter Ishana Night Shyamalan has been an important part of the creative team behind his Apple TV+ series Servant, and now she’s set to make her feature directorial debut with a thriller called The Watchers. New Line Cinema recently out the winner in a competitive bidding situation over the chance to bring The Watchers out into the world, and they’re putting the project on the fast track. Filming is expected to begin later this year, and a June 7, 2024 theatrical release has already been scheduled. And now The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Dakota Fanning (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) is set to star in the film.

Fanning will take on the role of Mina, a 28-year-old artist who gets 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.

The younger Shyamalan has written the screenplay for The Watchers, based on a novel by A.M. Shine (pick up a copy HERE) – and judging by the description, she’s definitely following in her father’s footsteps when it comes to her choices of subject matter.

New Line Cinema’s Richard Brener provided the following statement: “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.

M. Night Shyamalan and Ashwin Rajan are producing The Watchers for Blinding Edge Pictures. Nimitt Mankad of Inimitable Pictures is also producing. Jo Homewood serves as executive producer.

Speaking about his daughter’s work on Servant last year, M. Night Shyamalan told Entertainment Weekly, “She has slightly more of a fantasy bend than I do. She speaks in bolder colors than I do. The camera is more canted or more grotesque in showing someone scarier. The disadvantage of being an accomplished artist is that your experience starts working against you. I see less options, because I’ve done so many things. She doesn’t see that; for her, everything is possible. There are advantages and disadvantages to the levels of experience that we each have.” 

In addition to her work on Servant, where she wrote and/or directed several episodes, Ishana Night Shyamalan has also worked as second unit director on her father’s movies Old and Knock at the Cabin, and she has directed four music videos for her sister Saleka. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and was still attending the school when she started working on Servant.

How does The Watchers sound to you, and what do you think of Dakota Fanning taking the lead? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.

Dakota Fanning

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.