Robert Rodriguez Prefers ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ TV Series to the Original

Published 9 months ago by

It’s been 18 years since the original From Dusk Till Dawn hit, but tonight (at the time of this writing) on El Rey Network we’ll get the chance to reunite with the Gecko brothers and set off on another trip to the Titty Twister. In the pilot, we meet D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz’s versions of Seth and Richie Gecko while they’re busy trying to evade the Texas Rangers and make their way to Mexico.

While promoting From Dusk Till Dawn’s Tuesday, March 11th debut, show writer, director and executive producer Robert Rodriguez sat down to explain what it was that inspired him to bring the beloved 1996 film to TV:

“Really early on, I just thought this would be a really great show to do. Ever since we finished the movie, there’s a last shot that I put in that wasn’t in the script where the camera pulls back and you see that the bar was on top of an Aztec temple. People always loved that tease, thinking, ‘Is there a sequel that’s gonna follow this up,’ and we never did. And I’ve had that matte painting on my wall for 18 years and I always thought, I wanna do something with that. I didn’t know what. I didn’t know it’d be TV until I got this network.”

In hopes of keeping in line with the original, Rodriguez committed to taking a Walking Dead-like approach to the show and going all out with the graphic nature of the material. But, of course, an R-rated movie and a network-appropriate show are two different things. Rodriguez does have content guidelines for El Rey, but if the story calls for it, he’s going all out.

“It’s just a lot different today, I mean like what you can do. Even Walking Dead I think is more intense than even the films that were able to come out that, back in the day, got NC-17 ratings or X ratings or non-ratings, so I think you can really push the envelope on television today, especially if the story dictates it. I don’t think we just go to try to outdo anybody, but when the story kicks into that gear, it kicks into that gear.”

DJ Cotrona Zane Holtz From Dusk Till Dawn Robert Rodriguez Prefers ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ TV Series to the Original

Regardless of the quality of the characters, narrative, and gore, one of the elements of the original film that’s going to be a challenge to emulate is that feeling you got the first time you saw the movie switch gears and go from crime thriller to supernatural horror in an instant. Even though we won’t get a defined switch like the original, Rodriguez is confident the show will offer a similar sensation and even goes as far to say that he prefers this take over the film’s.

“The series is a crime saga with supernatural elements so you have to feel that from the very beginning, but it works much better because it’s the novel version so there are ties. Everyone’s supposed to get to that bar. Everyone’s destined to get there, and when they get there, because they don’t even get there until like halfway through the season, it’s so emotional when you get there, and you know what’s gonna happen and you know that everyone’s tied to it and it’s their destiny. Even the girl who comes out with the snake means so much now because you’ve gotten glimpses of her already. It’s really powerful and I really like this version more than the film.”

You can decide for yourself whether or not this new TV series has the potential to trump the classic by embarking on the first leg of the trip to the Titty Twister tonight at 9pm on El Rey.

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From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series premieres tonight on the El Rey Network.

Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.

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TAGS: from dusk till dawn

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  1. he must be deluded. the series looks like c r a p on a candlestick. It looks as though some film students directed and wrote it. No thanks.

    • I totally agree, seen the previews for this and it seems really cheaply made. I’ll check it out – since they are showing it like six times tonight – but I’m not expecting a great deal.

      • Really wish screenrant would let you just stay logged in. I screw up my own name…ugh

        • They used to, confused me for a couple of weeks because I didn’t know why my comments were showing up until I realised why.

    • *lolz

      You mad?

  2. I watched From Dusk Till Dawn not knowing anything about the movie. And I mean nothing. I’d never seen a promo, a poster, a teaser, a trailer – Nothing! I’d never spoken to anyone who had seen it either. I just so happened to catch it on HBO late one night. Can you imagine my WTF moment when all the dancers turned into vampires and the fight was on! I’ve never had a movie experience like that before or since.

  3. What in the hell is the El Rey Network? I’m going to make a guess and say that isn’t included in my cable package here in coastal Mississippi.

  4. Of course he prefers it over the movie, because he wants to sell it to the audience right now.

  5. Yeah, he would say that, but forgive me if i don’t believe his claim. The guy hasn’t done anything worth watching for years, he hides behind the idea that his work has to be deliberately bad for people to be entertained, which is just ridiculous. He’s now stuck in this “so bad it’s good” way of working, but the problem is it’s just so bad it’s awful. The series looks really terrible, and the idea of Rodriguez having his own channel is just madness. What’s it going to show, his and his friends’ awful films on a loop 24/7? He was promising once, but he hasn’t done anything good since Sin City, and plenty of what came before that was rubbish as well.

    I predict El Rey Network will collapse and leave Rodriguez in the doldrums financially. Maybe he needs that to happen to wake him up, creatively, because he’s sleepwalking at the moment.

  6. Has anyone seen the show?

    I don’t get El Rey (as a matter of fact I don’t know anyone who does) and from the few reviews I’ve seen the show doesn’t appear to be all that good.

    Lppks like I’ll have to wait for Netflix before I give it a shot.

    • Just finished the pilot, and i am shocked, it’s really, really good. Please give it a chance…

  7. Well it’s free to download from ITunes on HD at the moment if your curious? It wasn’t bad, but I have a feeling Reptiles from the Aztec’s will play a part on Richie Gecko mental condition. Wilmer Valderrama (Fez from ‘That 70′s Show’) plays the Gecko brothers connection to get them into Mexico to meet up at the infamous “Titty Twister” bar. I think I will just wait to watch the rest if it ever comes to Netflix.

  8. Just finished watching the pilot and wow, who ever cut that trailer should be sacked. It made the show look god awful. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be very good. The only downside is that if you have seen the movie then a lot of it is nothing new.

  9. Am normally a horror fan, and when i heard this show was going to come out i was excited, but to tell the truth i saw the poster online i didn’t even know that there was a show based off the movie, and when i saw the first pilot episode it was awesome, and i don’t judge any horror show i love them all low budget or not. The actors are incredible especially Seth and Richie Gecko they play an amazing part. Especially Richie he does his own thing he doesn’t copy Tarantino he plays a better Richie then Tarantino that’s a fact because Tarantino in the film was a sick bastard and had no purpose of the things he did at all, but in he show he does and it explains why he is the way he is and that he can be saved from what’s happening to him, overall this show is fantastic i love all the characters including Carlos he’s badass, cool and calm. And i can’t wait until the series becomes more deep into the setting and characters.

  10. watching it on Netflix now. It’s not half bad, although I miss some things from the original.

    So far really the only thing I’m having trouble getting with is the non-Tarantino Richie. Other than that it’s about what I expect from RR. Props to DJ Cotrona for getting Seth Gecko’s mannerisms down.

    Anyway, no beef with the show. Obviously it’s no Breaking Bad or Sopranos, but I’ll be staying tuned

    • Iv been watching it the past couple of days and yeah its good. The first two episodes were annoying with them going back and fourth with the flash backs but once that stop it was been dam good.