M Night Shyamalan Accused Of Plagiarism?

M Night Shyamalan's upcoming film, Knock at the Cabin, fails to credit the author of the source material, Paul Tremblay, on the film's first promotional poster.

By Jennifer Asencio | Updated

m night shyamalan

There was something missing from the latest movie poster for Knock at the Cabin, and horror author Paul Tremblay was particularly sensitive to this absence since it was his own name. The new movie is credited as written by director M. Night Shyamalan and co-writers Steve Desmon and Michael Sherman. However, it is based on Tremblay’s 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World, and The Independent reports that the author commented about the lack of credit for his source material.

The Cabin at the End of the World, the book adapted by M. Night Shyamalan, is about a couple and their daughter staying in a remote cabin in the woods. Their idyllic getaway is disrupted when their cabin is invaded by four armed people, who claim that they have never met before, assembling at the cabin. They believe that the world is about to end and that the only way to stop it is if one of the couple, or their child, is sacrificed.

The new poster depicts the four invaders, each of them carrying a weapon, as they approach the cabin through a flower-studded meadow. It features M. Night Shyamalan’s name in very large letters twice, as the director and as a writer, but no mention is made of Paul Tremblay, which prompted the author to tweet, “New poster. I dig it. Can’t help but feel like there’s something missing…”

The book was optioned for a movie adaptation in 2017 before it was even released in bookstores. Steve Desmon and Michael Sherman adapted it, making it one of the most exciting new scripts of 2019, including acclaim from GLAAD since its main characters are a gay couple. Another director was set to lead the project, but M. Night Shyamalan took over when the position became vacant and added his voice to the script.

knock at the cabin
Dave Bautista in Knock at the Cabin

The movie stars Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Rupert Grint, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, and Abby Quinn, and was shot in the spring of 2022 just outside Philadelphia in Burlington, New Jersey. M. Night Shyamalan had the cinematic expertise of Jarin Blaschke behind the camera, with a musical score by Herdís Stefánsdóttir. The film is rated R, only the second by the director after The Happening to receive that rating.

M. Night Shyamalan is most famous for his films ending with an unexpected twist. In his movies, a therapist who thinks he’s alive finds out he is really a ghost, or an invincible man finds out that freak accidents he has survived were orchestrated by his wheelchair-bound mentor, or people who think they live in an 1800s village are actually being kept away from modern civilization by local folklore about creatures in the forest. The apocalypse looming in Knock at the Cabin offers the acclaimed filmmaker another opportunity to shock audiences.

However, the designers of the movie poster should probably credit the creator of the source material, especially with M. Night Shyamalan already featured so prominently in the center as director. Paul Tremblay deserves to have his name on the poster too, because the other three writers based their script on his novel, making the absence rather conspicuous.

Knock at the Cabin, the latest from M. Night Shyamalan, will be in theaters on February 3, 2023.