M Night Shyamalan reveals real-life inspiration behind Trap twist

trap official trailer
M Night Shyamalan's inspiration behind Trap twistWarner Bros.

M Night Shyamalan has revealed the real-life inspiration behind his latest movie.

Trap stars Josh Hartnett and Ariel Donoghue as a father and daughter attending a pop concert. The concert, featuring Saleka Shyamalan as Lady Raven, turns out to be a police operation to capture a serial killer.

In an interview with Empire, Shyamalan shared how the idea came together with a simple pitch: "What if The Silence of the Lambs happened at a Taylor Swift concert?"

trap official trailer
Warner Bros.

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He explained that the movie was partially inspired by the "hilarious" real-life 'Operation Flagship'. The 1985 US sting operation lured in around 100 fugitives to a stadium with free NFL tickets.

"The cops were literally cheerleaders and mascots. These guys were dancing as they came in. And they were all caught. It was so twisted and funny," recalled the legendary filmmaker.

Trap's musical setting meant Shyamalan was also directing his daughter Saleka's show. "I directed an entire concert! And it wasn't just a thing in the background. It's equally important," he said.

"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."

m night shyamalan, knock at the cabin premiere, january 2023
Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

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Trap wouldn't be a Shyamalan movie if it didn't have a few twists. The trailer seemed to indicate that Hartnett's character is the serial killer they're looking for. Or is he?

Whatever the outcome, Shyamalan is eager to create a unique story for viewers. "I really do believe in the original movie. I want the industry to move towards more original storytelling. I think audiences would really like it."

He continued: "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 will be released in cinemas on August 9.

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