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Supervillain Origins: Mr Glass

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Super-villain Mr. Glass seriously knows his stuff. Elijah Price serves as David Dunn’s archenemy in M. Night Shyamalan’s Eastrail 177 Trilogy, making his debut in “Unbreakable” (2000), receiving a brief nod in “Split” (2016), and masterminding events in “Glass” (2019). Join us as we look into the origin story of this superhumanly intelligent comic book movie villain. What questions do YOU still have about Mr. Glass? Let us know in the comments!

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Script written by Michael Wynands

Supervillain Origins of Mr Glass


This is one evildoer who seriously knows his stuff. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we will explore the Supervillain Origins of Mr. Glass

Before we continue, please know that this video will contain.

Like many great villains, Elijah Price comes from relatively humble beginnings but stood out from a very young age. Our story begins in Philadelphia. The year is 1961, and one Mrs. Price has just given birth to a baby boy in the back of a Philadelphia Department store. Unfortunately, the second that a physician arrives on the scene to inspect the child, it becomes clear that all is not well with the newborn. Mrs. Price learns that her son has a rare condition known as Type I osteogenesis imperfecta. Also known as brittle bone disease, this condition, of which Elijah has a particularly severe case, means that the boy will never experience anything vaguely resembling a normal American childhood.

Because of his Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, the world was an extremely dangerous place for Elijah and even everyday activities posed a serious threat to his safety and wellbeing. Children can, unfortunately, be very cruel, and so his upbringing in Philadelphia was largely colored by mockery and bullying courtesy of the neighborhood kids. It was they who gave him the nickname Mr. Glass. A reference to his fragile nature, it was meant as an insult, but Elijah would eventually own the term, taking it as his villainous monicker - though not for many years. Between frequent trips to the hospital and the limited activities he could perform without risk of serious harm, Elijah soon became isolated, retreating into his own world - eventually refusing to leave the house.

Though Mrs. Price was committed to keeping her son safe, she was also naturally concerned by the degree to which he had turned inwards. In an attempt to try to encourage Elijah to overcome his fears, she bought him a gift. The condition to him receiving it? He had to go outside and get it from the bench where she left it. Inside this purple box - the color that would become the future’s villain’s trademark - Elijah found a comic book, a medium which he quickly became obsessed with. Though Mrs. Price likely intended for the heroes to serve as a source of inspiration for her son, it was ultimately the villains Elijah wound up relating to.
Comic books gave Elijah something to live for, but rather than encourage him to socialize as his mother might have hoped, they simply provided him an escape. As an adult, he turned that passion into living with Limited Edition, a museum dedicated to comic book art. But Elijah wasn’t content to simply read about heroes and villains, and so he endeavored to find someone with real superpowers. And by examining human history, he became convinced that they did in fact exist. If he was so much frailer than the average human, then surely, he believed, there must be someone to balance the scales - a human as unbelievably strong as he was weak. If this mystery someone was destined to be a hero, then the comics Elijah so adored could become a reality.

Using Limited Edition as his base of operations and secret lair of sorts, Elijah began his quest in earnest. In order to locate the hero that he so fervently believed must exist, he would follow the aftermath of accidents - even manufacturing them himself - in order to track survivors who might possess the qualities he was looking for. After orchestrating a train crash that claimed the lives of 131 innocent people, Elijah Price finally found his other half in security guard David Dunn.

Of course, given that the world crafted by M. Night Shyamalan is a thoroughly grounded one, Dunn is initially hesitant to accept or acknowledge that he is special like Elijah suggests. Like any good villain, however, Mr. Glass refuses to give up. And so, by befriending and encouraging Dunn, while simultaneously continuing to pull strings behind closed doors, he gets Dunn to embrace not only his superhuman abilities but his responsibilities as a hero. His life’s dream achieved, Elijah finally comes into his own as Mr. Glass - a supervillain with his very own hero and nemesis, just like in the comics.

Ultimately, Mr. Glass isn’t defeated in an epic showdown. Instead, after learning the truth, David informs the authorities of Elijah’s crimes, which gets him incarcerated in an institution for the criminally insane. But like all good villains, Mr. Glass refuses to stay down. After many years of incarceration, upon learning of another individual with incredible abilities, the Beast, he sees an opportunity for not just a comeback, but a plot so elaborate that only a villainous mastermind could pull off.
And there you have it, the origin of the enigmatic Mr. Glass! A father to villains, a mentor to heroes, and a champion of the extraordinary, he is a villain who, even in defeat, usually gets his way and never fails to impress.

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