The Sixth Sense 2 sounds like the kind of sequel that no one would expect or maybe even want. The original film was the breakout hit for young writer/director M. Night Shyamalan back in 1999. It was a massive critical and financial success and even managed to nab six Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
One of its other Academy Award nominations was Best Supporting Actor for Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear, the young boy with the ability to see ghosts. Osment recently spoke about the potential for The Sixth Sense 2 and how he would be more than happy to return to the role that cemented him as a working actor. “I’d definitely be up to dive in there with him again,” Osment said.
This talk about The Sixth Sense 2 has likely been stirred up by M. Night Shyamalan’s recent decision to create a larger world for some of his movies. Unbreakable was his follow-up film after The Sixth Sense, and Shyamalan would eventually return to that universe in the surprise sequel Split. He would seemingly close out that story in the third entry, Glass. This has led to speculation on whether or not Shyamalan would return to any of his other film worlds. Naturally, The Sixth Sense is one that has come up.
However, The Sixth Sense 2 does not seem to currently be on M. Night Shyamalan’s radar. He has mentioned that he owns the sequel rights to these characters that he created, so he certainly has the ability to create something that would act as some kind of follow-up for Cole Sear. If such a sequel were to occur, it would have to act as something very different than what we saw in the original. The big twist of The Sixth Sense is not something that could be replicated again.
So, if The Sixth Sense 2 did happen, what would the focus be? Obviously, audiences would want to see how Cole Sear has learned to live with this superhuman ability well into his adult life. Or maybe he no longer sees ghosts as an adult? It would be interesting to reframe the story from Cole’s direct perspective as he had to share a lot of his time as a co-lead to Bruce Willis’s character, Malcolm Crowe. Framing a movie where Cole is the only main perspective character could present some interesting narrative challenges.
Would M. Night Shyamalan even consider making The Sixth Sense 2 tie into his outright superhero universe? The ability to see ghosts would definitely count as a superpower in the same vein as the characters we see in Unbreakable, Split, and Glass. Would Cole end up getting swept into a larger world of people who have similar incredible powers? Again, this is all speculation that was kicked off thanks to the surprise nature of Split.
It would certainly be interesting to see what The Sixth Sense 2 would look like in the modern movie landscape. Horror as a genre is always shifting and changing in order to better suit the cultural standards and expectations of the day. Would the same approach to horror that worked so effectively in The Sixth Sense be less impacting all these years later? Would The Sixth Sense 2 even necessarily have to present itself as an outright horror movie? Could it lean on another genre to tell its story?
Regardless, this is all just pie-in-the-sky thinking as there has been no official word on anything moving forward with The Sixth Sense 2. Haley Joel Osment seems game to return and it would be great to see how much he has changed and evolved as an actor over the years. Returning to such an indelible role would offer him a chance to showcase his acting talents to the mainstream once again. And M. Night Shyamalan seems to be on a good run right now. Would the marquee value of The Sixth Sense 2 be something that would once again energize audiences to see his movies? Or would he pull another Split on us and make something original that actually ends up tying into The Sixth Sense?
We can’t see that future for certain, but we hope that if M. Night Shyamalan feels inspired to return to the world of Cole Sear, we will get the chance to see it.