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The Real Reason M. Night Shyamalan Cast Dave Bautista As The Villain In Knock At The Cabin

According to M. Night Shyamalan, the reason that Dave Bautista was ultimately chosen to play Leonard in “Knock at the Cabin” was that Shyamalan had been blown away by his performance in Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” as an emotionless replicant-turned-farmer. While Bautista’s time in the movie is actually quite short, it’s been hailed by critics — and Bautista, himself — as being one of his best acting jobs to date (via Polygon). 

“I was really taken by what Denis [Villeneuve] and Dave [Bautista] did in that scene in Blade Runner [2049],” Shyamalan told The Hollywood Reporter in a January 2022 interview. “He was still in a way that was powerful,” the director explained. “There’s a type of stillness where you’re not doing nothing; you’re doing everything and you’re still. Every cell in your body will do what it’s supposed to do if you’re thinking something correctly. And Dave was embodying all of this philosophy in that scene.” For Bautista, the role served as a chance for him to finally break out of the WWE and professional wrestler mold that had haunted him during the early stages of his career. 

“It was hard for people to see past my physicality and see that I actually wanted to… do some acting,” Bautista told Uproxx in May 2021. “[Blade Runner 2049] opened up some eyes and people started looking at me differently,” he said. One person, though, who never cared about the former WWE champion’s background was Shyamalan. 

“I didn’t know who he was at that time, and he stuck in my head,” the director told THR. “So when [the ‘Knock at the Cabin’] script came, I was like, ‘There seems to be one guy who can play this giant human being and do the stillness.’ So I asked Dave.”

“Knock at the Cabin” is set to release on February 3, 2023.



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