Warner Bros. has been working to get a new film adaptation of The Twilight Zone off the ground for a few years now. Cloverfield and Let Me In helmer Matt Reeves signed on as director last year, with a tentative plan to begin production by this summer. Obviously, that start date wasn’t met, and the last we heard about the project was that Joby Harold (Awake) had entered talks to re-write the script.
It now appears as though Reeves will not be directing Twilight Zone at all. The filmmaker is instead going to turn his attention to the other developing projects on his plate, which include the horror novel adaptations This Dark Endeavor and The Passage, as well as a new interpretation of the short story 8 O’Clock in the Morning (which John Carpenter’s They Live was loosely based on).
Variety‘s Justin Kroll says Reeves’ departure is due to “scheduling conflicts,” which could partially be the result of a deal he recently struck to supervise new television projects for 20th Century Fox. Furthermore, it appears that Twilight Zone is in risk of falling into development hell, despite Warner Bros.’ efforts to jump-start progress on the project.
Few concrete details have been released so far about the new Twilight Zone, other than it won’t be an anthology like the 1983 movie, which featured segments directed by people like Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante. The mysterious – but assuredly mind-bending – storyline for the reboot was devised by Jason Rothenberg (Body Politic) before his script draft was retooled by Anthony Peckham, who also contributed to the rewriting process on the currently-filming Jack Ryan.
The original Twilight Zone TV series was created by Rod Serling in the late 1950s. Serling also narrated every episode, which tended to revolve around stories with supernatural elements, ironic plot twists and social allegory; many of these strange tales concluded on a morally-uplifting note. CBS resurrected The Twilight Zone in 1985, while UPN began broadcasting a second revival that lasted just one season in the early 2000s.
One common criticism is the 2002 version fails to find an approach that resonates with people in the 21st century, the way Serling’s original did with viewers living almost a century prior. It’s possible Reeves encountered a similar problem with the reboot during development, but that his schedule pulled him away before he could overcome it; either way, that’s a concern for his replacement now.
More on The Twilight Zone as the story develops.