If You Aren’t Excited for THE TWILIGHT ZONE Reboot, You Should Be
CBS All Access has announced April Fool’s Day as the release date for the new Twilight Zone reboot, which is to be produced and hosted by the best possible choice for today’s current social climate - Jordan Peele. The original Twilight Zone often explored political and societal issues, and Peele proved in 2017’s fabulous Get Out that he can tackle problems facing our current American culture with both darkness and humor. Peele’s 2019 film Us is not only one of the most anticipated new horror releases of the year, but a highly anticipated movie in general. Peele will take the place of Rod Serling as Twilight Zone’s executive producer and will also host and narrate each episode. This will be the third television revival of the famous series - the first was by CBS in the 1980’s and then UPN in the early 2000’s.
The original anthology series The Twilight Zone, which usually featured science fiction and horror elements, was a playground for some of those genres’ greatest voices, like Ray Bradbury, Arthur C, Clarke, and Stephen King. It often featured moralistic quandaries and suspenseful storylines and used elements of fantasy, drama, and comedy in its’ exploitation of many relevant cultural issues. The new series’ ever-changing cast is set to include The Walking Dead’s Steven Yuen, Fargo’s Allison Tolman (YES!!), The Nun’s Taissa Farmiga, Better Call Saul’s Rhea Seehorn, Room’s Jacob Tremblay, and The Mindy Project’s Ike Barinholtz. If that’s not enough stars for you, the series is also expected to feature John Cho, Greg Kinnear, Sanaa Lathan, Kumail Nanjiani, Jessica Williams, DeWanda Wise and Adam Scott.
Twilight Zone titles that are said to be revisited for the new series include two classic 1960’s episodes which both featured a young William Shatner, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” (which will now be called “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet”), and “Nick of Time.” Another reworking will include a remake of the 2003 episode “Rewind,” which told the story of a gambler who uses a magical device during a very high stakes game. Other episode titles that have been released include “The Wunderkind” and “The Traveler,” although it’s not currently clear if these are new, original episodes or if these also feature inspiration from previous Twilight Zone classics, as those titles could certainly work with some of the past creations.
As far as directors the series will feature, we do know that Gerard McMurray (The First Purge) will direct one episode. Among the other producers is Greg Yaitanes, (renowned producer and director of shows like Lost, Banshee, and Heroes), who is also set to direct “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet,” with Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott filling the shoes of William Shatner as a nervous flyer who spies a creature on the wing of his plane as it passes through a violent storm. Peele just may the absolute perfect person to tackle such a project, and, along with the FX network’s adaptation of What We Do in the Shadows in March and the final season of Game of Thrones in April, it seems the TV Gods are set to give us a hell of a spring for science fiction, horror and fantasy television. Plus, if that’s not enough to get excited about, it seems CBSAll Access has also greenlit a new 10 episode adaptation of The Stand, which Stephen King himself claimed excitement about on Twitter. It certainly appears it’s time to get or renew that CBS All Access membership!
The first two episodes of The Twilight Zone will be released on CBS All Access on April 1, with the following episodes to begin airing April 11 and continue streaming weekly each Thursday.