Horror director Richard Kelly is reportedly writing and directing a biopic based on the life of The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. Kelly is most notably known for his film Donnie Darko, which starred a young Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular character. The film served as both a coming-of-age tale and a sci-fi thriller, as Donnie struggles to balance his personal life with ongoing premonitions of disaster that are accompanied by a man in a bunny suit. Though the film struggled with its initial theater run, it earned a devoted cult following as the years went on, even prompting Kelly to explore the idea of a sequel. Even though talk of a sequel has seemingly died out, Kelly seems intrigued to explore other avenues relating to science fiction.
The Twilight Zone originally aired for five seasons, from 1959 to 1964, and was a smashing success within the science fiction genre. The stories were clever, insightful, and even pretty scary. Recently, the series received a reboot from comedian-turned-horror filmmaker Jordan Peele that had a 10 episode run for its first season on CBS All Access and starred some very famous faces, including Adam Scott, Kumail Nanjiani, and Seth Rogan, just to name a few. The series received generally positive reviews and was promptly renewed for season 2. Now, it looks like Kelly hopes to keep the memory of Serling alive in a different fashion.
According to ComicBook, a Production Weekly listing stated that Kelly would be writing and directing a Serling biopic. It remains to be seen what exactly the film will be about, but considering Serling's work even pre-Twilight Zone revolved around science fiction and horror, any aspect seems like a perfect fit for Kelly. Currently, the biopic is in the works at Mandalay Pictures with Jason Michael Berman and Kevin Turen helping to produce.
Rod Serling's life will be an interesting one to watch unfold on the big screen. Prior to The Twilight Zone, Serling wrote, directed, and acted in radio shows for his college's radio station. As his career began to take off, he later became known as the "angry young man" of Hollywood, since he often clashed with television executives and corporate sponsors over censorship, racial equality, and war. There's no doubt that any of these aspects of Serling's life will certainly make for interesting avenues for Kelly to explore in his future project.
Not only will Serling's love of horror and science fiction be a perfect point for Kelly to tackle, but his frequent activism outside of radio will also be interesting for audiences to see. Although it's not a frequently talked about aspect of his life, it's certainly an intriguing one to dig into. Even though CBS All Access' version of The Twilight Zone still has plenty of stories to tell, there's still a lot to be learned about where the show came from and what Rod Serling's life was like. Kelly seems like the perfect storyteller to welcome audiences further into the wondrous Fifth Dimension. A dimension that Serling surely held closest to his heart.