David Dunn is a fictional character and main protagonist of the Unbreakable franchise and of the 2000 film Unbreakable, a minor character of the 2017 film Split, and once again the main protagonist of the 2019 film Glass. He is portrayed by Bruce Willis. Dunn is a former college football prodigy, who, in Unbreakable, is a security guard with supernatural abilities.
David Dunn was a football prodigy sought out by professional teams, but in later life, he finds himself in a dying marriage with his college sweetheart, Audrey, much to the distress of their son Joseph, and working as security guard at a football stadium. As he returns home from an unsuccessful job interview in New York City, David's train crashes, killing the other 131 passengers, while he is the only survivor, sustaining no injuries.
After coming into contact with Elijah Price David began to embrace his abilities, becoming a superhero named the Overseer
Early Life Edit
David Dunn was born in Philadelphia 1960. Little is known about his past except that he almost died drowning in a pool at his school. Since the incident safety precautions around the school's pool area have been more strict and the story became an urban legend between kids for years. As a result of the trauma he endured, Dunn had become phobic of water.
When he reached the age of 20, Dunn pursued a career as an aspiring football player at the Philadelphia University. But what could have become a promising career quickly dies after a near fatal car accident involving his girlfriend and future wife, Audrey. Although no one knew that he was uninjured, he used the opportunity to give up football so that he could be with with Audrey, since she hated the sport.
They were married for years and had a son named Joseph. Dunn makes his living as a security guard at the stadium which he used to play at. Little is known why, but David and Audrey's relationship has strained to the point where they sleep in separate bedrooms. At one point of this struggle, Dunn decides to go to New York to apply for a better job.
The Accident Edit
On a ride back home to Philadelphia, David is caught in a train wreck that has killed 131 passengers, including Clarence Wendell Crumb, the father of Kevin Wendell Crumb. Not only is he the sole survivor, but he hasn't broken one bone or has had a scratch on him. He reunites with Audrey and Joseph as they among other families of victims wait for him at the hospital. He later attends a mourning service for the other 131 passengers. After the service Dunn finds a card on the windshield of his car with the words "Limited Edition" engraved on the front. David flips the card which has black marker writing which says "How many days have you been sick?".
At first David asks around his workplace and Audrey the very same question; neither of them recall him ever being sick. Then Dunn takes his son Joseph to the Limited Edition comic book art museum, where he meets the man responsible for the card: Elijah Price. Elijah explains of his disease known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 1; which means his bones are very frail and easily breakable. Price theories that if there was someone like him in the world then there would be someone that is the opposite of him. He goes on to explain he has seen the city's disasters, ranging from a plane crash, and a hotel fire. Price was looking for key words to find what he was looking for. When he heard about the train crash and heard the words "Sole survivor" he believes that he has found the man he was looking for. This interests David at first until Price mentions that he believes Dunn to be a modern day superhero, someone that comics based themselves on. This throws Dunn off and he accuses Price of being a scam artist. He then leaves with Joseph to go home. At home, Audrey tells David that she believes it is a miracle that he survived that train and wishes they could start over again, even going as far as asking him out on a date. One day at work, Dunn gets a call that someone is trying to get in the stadium on a bogus ticket. He goes to see the person who reveals himself to be Elijah, who finds it strange that a person that doesn't think he is a superhero, takes a job that requires him to protect people.
Dunn gets him a seat at the game and along the way, he gets a vision of a man with a camouflage jacket was carrying a silver gun with a black grip. Although David's vision was accurate (later confirmed by Elijah.) it doesn't help shake his skepticism. David returns home from work to workout with Joseph helping him with the weights. It is there, where they discovered David has limitless strength. Dunn later tries to test Price's theory, when he gets a vision that one of the customers is selling drugs. After searching the man finding nothing, he begins to doubt himself. Dunn then gets a call from Joseph's school, that he got hurt in a fight defending a girl.
While in the office the principal remembers Dunn from back when she was a school nurse. She reminds him of the time he almost died in the swimming pool, which answers Elijah's sick question. Back at home Audrey tells David that Elijah has been stalking her telling her his theory. Before he can react, Joseph enters the room with his gun intending to shoot David to prove he is a superhero. David manages to convince him not to, by threatening to leave and go to New York. Dunn confronts Elijah over this and tells him he has been sick from drowning.
Before leaving David warns him to stay away from his family. After a date with Audrey he gets a message from Price stating that every hero has a weakness, and David's is water. David later goes to the train yard to see the remains of his train in the accident. He looks and sees a big hole where his window seat used to be. Dunn later remembers the car accident where he was able to rip the door off to save Audrey whilst he was unharmed from it. Dunn later calls Elijah asking for advice. Price tells him to go to where people are and that the rest is up to him.
The Man in the Orange Jumpsuit Edit
David goes to the subway station where he reaches out making sure everyone touches him. He sees visions of a woman in red stealing, a man in yellow assaulting an interracial couple, a date rapist, and a man in orange invading a family's house. Dunn follows the man to the house using his rain poncho as a disguise. While sneaking in he notices the man of the house dead, and two children tied up. Dunn unties the kids and goes to the master bedroom where he sees the mother tied to a radiator. He looks around the room for The Orange Man, who sneaks up behind him and knocks him out of the window. David lands in a pool where he nearly drowns, but the kids save his life. Dunn later goes back and kills The Orange Man by strangling him to death. When he unties the mother, she was already dead. Dunn then goes home and rests not feeling sad anymore.
The Handshake Edit
The morning after he secretly shows Joseph a newspaper of his night out, advising him to never tell Audrey. Dunn later goes to Limited Edition during their exhibition, where he meets Elijah who congratulates him on his first night. Elijah then shakes his hand, giving David a vision of him being the cause of all the disasters that were mentioned, including the train wreck. There are several plans for explosives and other acts of terrorism displayed around his room. Elijah explains that he was meant to be the villain in David's story and adopts the name, "Mr. Glass". David immediately alerts the authorities, and Elijah is sent to an institution for the criminally insane.
A real-life superhero Edit
For the next fifteen years, David would continue to operate as Philadelphia's vigilante protector. David's vigilante activities would lead to him receiving numerous titles such as the Tip-Toe Man, The Green Guard before finally being officially dubbed the Overseer.
As the Overseer, David became an online phenomenon with many people supporting his activities while other people established chatrooms and message boards where they conduct research to determine if he was truly superhuman. As the Overseer, David stuck to the shadows mainly targeting drug dealers, car thieves, muggers and criminals.
Duty Calls... Edit
Fifteen years later, while having breakfast in a small diner, David hears news of the atrocities committed by Kevin Wendell Crumb, a nigh-indestructible superhuman with 24 separate personalities. The media dubs him "The Horde" and advises that he is at large. David began tracking down Kevin, making "The Horde's" capture his top priority. While searching for "The Horde" in the subway David encountered two young men who filmed themselves "Superman punching" people and uploaded the videos online. David tracked the pair back to a house, one of the men tried to assault David but David effortlessly threw him into a wall before apprehend the man uploading the videos.
Dunn vs Beast Edit
Three weeks later The Horde manages to capture four more teenage girls. With the help of his son Joseph David manages to track Kevin down to an old brick factory but while in confrontation he is captured by Ellie Staple. He is taken, with Kevin, to a mental institution, housing none other than Elijah Price. David is put in a cell housing a multitude of water nozzles, designed to activate his perceived weakness. After a meeting with Ellie Staple David is left believing that he is just an ordinary man. One night Elijah breaks out of his cell and into Kevin's. He tells The Horde that he has a plan to get out only if he has the help of The Beast, The Horde agrees to help him. Elijah then tells David that at the grand opening of the city's new highest tower, he will use the chemical lab housed inside the building to trigger an explosion. He leaves after telling David that he turned of the water pipes leading to his cell, to give him an escape route. David musters all of his strength to break out of his cell. He then goes to the patient item storage only to find the body of a nurse killed by The Beast. He retrieves his trademark poncho and heads straight to the front of the institution. He finds Mr. Glass with The Beast and engages in battle. David and the Beast find themselves equally matched against each other and are forced to fight riot police dispatched by Staple. David pushes four of the riot officers into a storage container and bends a steel bar through the handles to stop the officers from apprehending him and to prevent them from being harmed by the Beast. Mr. Glass tells The Beast that water is David's weakness. In an attempt to stop The Beast, Joseph tells The Beast that Kevin's dad died in the Eastrail 177 train accident, the same one that revealed David's abilities. Elijah tries to reason with The Beast that if the train hadn't crashed, Kevin wouldn't have been abused by his mom and therefore The Beast would have never been created. The Beast thanks Elijah for creating him, but his purpose is to protect Kevin, so being the cause of Kevin's bad upbringing, The Beast fatally wounds Elijah. David stops The Beast from doing anymore damage to Elijah, but ends up being thrown into a water tank by The Beast. The Beast attempts to drown David, however David breaks through the side of the water tank only to then flood the grounds of the hospital in the process.
David is left severely weakened from the water and can do nothing as The Horde and Elijah both die. The Horde dies from a gunshot wound inflicted by a man with a clover tattoo on his wrist and Elijah from blood loss caused by wounds from The Beast. Another man with a clover tattoo drags David to a pothole flooded by the water tank and starts to drown him. He lets David's head up long enough for David to grab Ellie Staple's hand. He sees a clover tattoo on her wrist, when he grabs her hand he finds out that she is part of a organization designed to keep the existence of super humans a secret. She lets go of David's hand and he drowns in the water.
After David's death, it is revealed that Elijah sent the live security footage of the Overseer's heroic acts and his battle against the Beast to Joseph Dunn, Casey Cooke and Mrs Price. The Trio honoured David's death along with the deaths of Kevin and Elijah by leaking the footage online and to the media, ultimately revealing the existence of superhumans to the world and ruining the plans of both Staple and the Clover Organization.
David is a fairly stoic and serious-minded individual. He also loves his family very much, not wanting his strange powers to interfere with their lives. Despite this David at the same time also has a strong sense of responsibility and justice, causing him to decide to use his powers to help people, despite his desire to keep to himself.
Powers and Abilities Edit
- Superhuman Strength: David is extraordinarily strong. He has demonstrated that he can easily tear off a car door and bench press over five hundred pounds. The more David believes in his strength, the stronger he becomes. An example of this would be the workout scene. He was barely able to press the bar but when his son pretended to remove weights, David easily pressed it with little effort. The upper limits of his strength were never accurately measured. Fifteen Years Later, it seems that David's Strength is becoming dull (probably due to his age) , but he is still able to man-handle a team of Riot Police, effortlessly throw a grown man into a wall with one hand, knock down metal doors, Bend Steel with his hands and hold his own against a fight with The Beast.
- Invulnerability: David Dunn possesses an incredible resilience to injury and it's his primary and strongest superhuman ability . It is believed that he is virtually impossible to physically injure. His body is 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. His unique resilience also apparently translates to granting him an immunity to conventional diseases or viruses. He has never gotten sick or suffered from common pains or ills possibly because his body is simply too powerful to be affected in this fashion.
- Security Instinct: 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. If an evil person stood out to David, he could perceive that they are trying to hide something, that they were guilty of some crime. Under certain circumstances, usually if David made physical contact with a person and if they were thinking of their past evil, he can empathically see a person past evil deed.
- Water: For some unknown reason, David is extremely vulnerable to water. Possibly because of the differences in his body. He cannot 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 possible that this effect is purely psychological in nature. Water may be unconsciously associated with his near death as a child.
- Beings with equal strength: Although David can be seen as unstoppable and immovable being, beings like The Beast can equally match to his immense strength as The Beast (with an effort) shown to be more than a match for David. Pushing him with great force, grapping him aroung his waist (although this is ineffective to David to get crushed or squeezed to death).
- Stadium drug dealer
- The Orange Man † - Victim
- Elijah Price/Mr. Glass † - Former Friend turned Arch-Enemy
- Kevin Wendell Crumb/The Horde † Enemy
- Ellie Staple - Doctor/Enemy and Killer
- The Clover Organisation - Captors and Killers
- Bruce Willis was uncredited for his appearance in Split.
- The powers and weaknesses demonstrated by the fictional David Dunn bear surprising similarity to the conditions caused by LRP5 mutation, a rare genetic disorder. Those afflicted have bones too durable for conventional surgical drills and rarely suffer from fractures, but often struggle in the water due to their skeleton's increased density.
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