M. Night Shyamalan says he has a six season master-plan for the future of Apple TV+ horror series Servant.
The filmmaker, and the series’ creator Tony Basgallop, have stated they have enough story for the show to extend over many more episodes after the original run of ten half-hour installments.
Servant follows couple Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean (Toby Kebbell), who hire nanny Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) to look after their child. The issue, as Sean reveals, is that the child is actually an inanimate “reborn doll” he has purchased in order to shield Dorothy from the grief of having lost their baby boy.
Needless to say, things have shifted dramatically by the end of the first episode, firing the starting pistol on an intricate, slippery mystery.
Apple TV+ has already given Shyamalan and Basgallop the green light for a second season, and Shyamalan’s brain is whirring.
“I do know the endpoint and I think there's movements that I understand that I want to go towards,” the Glass director tells Yahoo Movies UK.
“It's almost like I'm thinking of it in my head as two seasons, two seasons, two seasons. At the end of the second season, I want to get you here, and then at the end of the fourth season, I want to get you here, and then conclude it.”
He adds: “The challenge of this format - of telling longform storytelling as opposed to a movie – is how do you disseminate the information and where is it going to – its conclusion.”
British writer Basgallop is pleased that the story he created has been given the vote of confidence by the bosses at Apple.
Basgallop previously created BBC series Hotel Babylon, as well as co-writing the 2005 miniseries To The Ends of the Earth, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch.
“It's hugely reassuring that what you've done is good and they want more,” he says.
“When you have confidence, you do good work. If it took three years and then they go ‘yeah... maybe’, then no one would want to do it.”
Harry Potter star Rupert Grint appears in the show as Julian — the brother of Ambrose’s character — who serves as a confidante for Kebbell’s character as the weirdness becomes all-consuming.
Grint says it’s always a “nice surprise” to hear that a show is going to continue and he joins co-star Nell Tiger Free in thanking audiences who have taken to the story almost immediately.
“It's lovely to have people like the show because we worked so hard on it”, she says. “We made this thing in Philly and now everyone's seeing it and it's like ‘oh god’.
“But really it's just so lovely to have people enjoy something you've worked so hard on.”
For Shyamalan, it’s important that audiences feel Servant is the work of a creative team who have a clear plan for the direction of these characters.
“I want you to feel in every episode a sense that we know where we're going. We're heading to a specific thing we're telling you,” he says.
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All involved are confident about the future of the show and are preparing to allow the mystery to unravel over as much time as Apple is prepared to give them.
Basgallop says: “It feels like people are into it. It feels like people understand what the idea is and why we're doing it this way.
“And people are intrigued for more, so we keep going.”
Servant is now available exclusively on Apple TV+ with new episodes every Friday.