David Dunn

Real Name: David Dunn

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: Security Guard; former College Football

Affiliations: formerly Elijah Price

Enemies: Mr.Glass (Elijah Price)

Known Relatives: Audrey Dunn (wife); Joseph Dunn (son)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Appearance: Unbreakable (Touchstone Pictures, November 22nd 2000)

Powers/Abilities: David Dunn possesses an incredible resilience to injury. It is believed that he is virtually impossible to physically injure or hurt. His body and his tissues are far more resistant to damage and stresses than any ordinary human being. He has withstood physical traumas and shocks that would have seriously injured or killed a normal human being outright. His unique resilience also apparently translates to granting him a resistance to conventional diseases or viruses as well. He has never gotten sick or suffered from common pains or ills possibly because his body is simply too powerful to affect in this fashion.

David is also extraordinarily strong and is capable of lifting incredible weights. He has demonstrated that he can easily tear off a car door and can bench press over five hundred pounds. His upper limits were never accurately measured or disclosed. It is appears that his strength is dependent upon his belief and effort. The more he exerts himself, the stronger he is and the more he believes in his strength, he similarly becomes stronger. An example of this might be demonstrated in one attempt to lift weights; he was barely able to do so when his son told him he had put on additional weights to his dumbbells. Later, his son tricked him by only pretending to remove the weights and this time, David easily lifted them with little effort.

David also possesses some unknown and not clearly understood power to instinctively know if a person is good or evil. It is believed that this may be a form of psychometric power or some type of heightened instinct that he could employ unconsciously. An evil person “stood” out to David. He could perceive that they were perhaps trying to hide something, that they were guilty of some crime and, under certain extremely rare circumstances, he could even empathically “see” a person’s past, usually if he made physical contact with them and if they were “thinking” or “remembering” their past evil.

For some unknown reason, David is extremely vulnerable to water. Possibly because of the differences in his body, he can not float but rather sinks and as a result, he nearly drowned as a child and almost died. Water appears to weaken him and drain his strength. It is unknown but possibly this effect is purely psychological in nature; he is unconsciously remembering his near death as a child.

History: Heroes have always walked the Earth. Their deeds were remembered and recounted in many forms, in many types. As legends, as myths, as fables, to tall tales, and finally as comic books. They have been forgotten or dismissed as fiction, as being too irrational to exist in a rational world. But they still exist. Even if sometimes, they are unaware of their own extraordinary gifts.

David Dunn was never sick in his entire life. No fevers, no headaches. He had never been hurt. No injuries. No broken bones or bruises. The only time he had ever been hospitalized was after he nearly drowned as a child. He always thought of himself as simply ... lucky. After a terrible car accident in college, he gave up a promising professional football career to become an ordinary security guard at the behest of his girlfriend (and later wife) Audrey. Several years later David had a steady job as a security guard, he had a beautiful wife and a fine son. He had achieved the American Dream. His life seemed idyllic. But it was not. Dunn was troubled, sensing emptiness in his life, that he was missing something. His marriage suffered and his relationship with his son grew strained.

Then he survived a horrible train wreck, the sole survivor out of 131 people. And he walked away from the mangled wreckage without so much as a scratch. Afterwards he encountered a strange man known as Elijah Price. Price had been born with broken bones as a result of suffering from a rare genetic disorder, which left his skeleton extraordinarily fragile and breakable. All his life, Price had sought the meaning for his disease and he had ultimately come to the conclusion that nature demands a balance in all things. He fervantly believed that if he was at one end of the spectrum of physical fragility, of being breakable ... then logically, nature would respond by having another person at the opposite end of the spectrum, something of greater than normal strength and durability ... someone unbreakable.

Due to his frequent injuries, Price spent considerable time hospitalized as a child and began reading comic books. A lifelong comic fan, Price long theorized that comic books were merely an echo of old stories from long ago, dimly remembered legends about human beings who were extraordinary. Stronger, faster, more powerful, with an instinctive drive to protect. For a long time, Price had searched for any hint of those beings. But he never found any. Until David. David was at first dismissive of Price’s beliefs, but he found Price strangely compelling and his assertions to be remarkably intuitively correct about David’s past history; his health, his lack of injuries, even how he had an instinctive ability to pick out potential troublemakers in his role as a security guard.

David's son, Joe, was much quicker to believe and suggested David attach all of the weights to his barbell to see just how strong he really was. David decided to humor his son and demonstrated that he could barely lift it with enormous effort. He then told Joe to remove some of the weight, afterwards easily lifting the barbell. Curious, he asked Joe how much weight he had taken off, only to find that Joe had tricked him and hadn't removed any weight. Slowly, David began to realize that he was extraordinarily gifted and, at the behest of Price, began using his gifts and his instinctive ability to sense evil to hunt down a homicidal home invader. Although he was too late to save the home owner, David was able to save the lives of her children from harm.

David realized that he had found the part of himself that he had long been searching for, what he was born to do, to be a hero. He quietly shared his new secret with his son and was finally content. A few days later David made a chilling discovery when he shook Price’s hand to thank him for his advice, in that moment making empathic contact with him and learning that Price was the man responsible for a number of disasters and accidents that had plagued Philadelphia for many years. Price had set off bombs and fires, destabilized buildings, deliberately arranged aircraft crashes and was even responsible for derailing David’s train. All his life, Price insisted he had been a victim of his body’s weakness, and had sought meaning for nature’s joke upon. Ultimately the only way he could find any meaning was to find someone like David. Someone who was his opposite; an unbreakable man to him ... a man whom all of the children taunted as Mr. Glass.

Price proclaimed that the worst thing, the most terrible thing, was to not know your proper place in the world. To lack that awareness, that knowledge of yourself. Like David, Price had almost given up, until he found David. Now, David knew his place. David was to be the Hero. And now so too, Price knew his place as well. Price pointed out that it is a common point in superhero comics that the hero and the villain were often times the opposite of one another, each the antithesis, the counter to the other. Light could not exist without Dark. And ironically enough, the Hero and the Villain were often friends at first. Price just never realized this until that very moment, and realized his own place in the world. He is Mr. Glass. He is and always was the Villain.

David would subsequently anonymously telephone police and give them information that would lead to Price being arrested and ultimately being sent to a prison for the criminally insane. David continues to covertly act as Philadelphia’s mysterious heroic samaritan.

Comments: Created by M. Night Shyamalan, played by Bruce Willis. Shyamalan originally began developing a movie based on the comic book structure of a hero’s origin, their struggles against regular criminals, and finally the climax with their battle against their great arch-enemy. However he became so fascinated with the “birth of the hero” that he based the entire movie on that singular part. He originally intended to make “Unbreakable” into a trilogy, with two sequels tentatively titled “Unbeatable” and “Unstoppable” which would focus on David Dunn’s exploits with the next segments of the aforementioned comic book structure (his struggle against regular criminals and the final climax against his arch-enemy). But the lack of commercial success for “Unbreakable” prompted him to shelve the rest of the project. Shyamalan however has stated that he does hope to someday revisit David Dunn in a sequel movie.

Thanks to Josh Geren for information regarding his powers, and to Michael Higuchi for a vastly expanded profile.


Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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