Summary of “The Sixth Sense 20th Anniversary: Oral History with M. Night Shyamalan – Variety”

“The Sixth Sense” was almost a serial killer film inspired by “The Silence of the Lambs.” In the original draft of the thriller by director and writer M. Night Shyamalan, Bruce Willis’ character was a crime photographer with a son who experienced visions of the victims.
Ten drafts later, Shyamalan morphed the script into what we know today: a psychological drama with a monumental twist ending that would launch the career of a young director with comparisons to Spielberg and Hitchcock.
Haley Joel Osment, who plays the young boy who utters the words “I see dead people,” told Variety that the cast knew intuitively that the script was “Something really special,” and they were right: “The Sixth Sense” earned six Oscar nominations including best picture, best director, best supporting actress for Toni Collette and best supporting actor for then 10-year-old Osment.
M. Night Shyamalan, who is now 48, spent nearly a year on the script, not sure where the story should go or what it should be.
The film landed at Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures, with Shyamalan set to direct his own script.
When thinking back to the scariest scene in “The Sixth Sense,” most will recall Barton writhing under a bed, trying to get Osment to realize her mother killed her.
It’s of Cole in a freezing cold bed saying the line, “I see dead people.” Shyamalan decided not to use CGI to facilitate the image of his breath; instead, he put Osment in a a real-life ice box.
Shyamalan: “The Sixth Sense” was the movie that didn’t have the legacy to deal with.

The orginal article.