M. Night Shyamalan Defects to Canada for Forthcoming Devil


Any place with as rich a sense of history, pride and propriety as Pennsylvania has about its native sons should be probably be ashamed of a development like this, but there you have it: M. Night Shyamalan, perhaps the most important filmmaker to emerge from the Keystone State since Andy Warhol high-tailed it out of Pittsburgh, will make his next movie in Canada. A nation mourns. But enough about Canada.

Manoj has relocated production of his supernatural thriller Devil to Toronto -- quite the departure from the exurbs of his beloved Philadelphia, where he has spent most of the last decade crafting robustly budgeted suspensers that have done nothing but make money for everyone involved. (Surely Warners has turned a profit by now on Lady in the Water.) What went wrong?

It wasn't the trees. Look instead to the Pennsylvania Senate, apparently, where a protracted budget impasse has held up an extension of the state's tax-credit production incentives. That battle reaches back to at least February, when Republican senator Pat Vance introduced a proposal to suspend the state's $75 million incentive program. While she suggested at the time that it wasn't producing "adequate results," a report in today's Philadelphia Inquirer invoked the $375 million economic impact Shyamalan's film's have generated in the Philadelphia region.

And thus last week Devil withdrew its application for the credits. "This is an obvious sign that without the film tax credit in place, we lose film business, and in turn, jobs," said the despondent director of the Pennsylvania Film Office. Shyamalan, meanwhile, studied maps in search of the twistiest road out of town, just for old times' sake. Just when he was getting good, too! Hurry home, Manoj.

· State budget impasse chases Shyamalan film to Canada [Philadelphia Inquirer via /film]


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