Leonardo DiCaprio to Adapt Twilight Zone Material
by Kevin Powers
July 25, 2008
The "Twilight Zone" makes for some of the most interesting sci-fi/fantasy/horror story telling in history. With 156 episodes that aired in a short five years back in the late fifties, it's a wonder why more studios haven't mined the extensive material. Sure, there's been an adaptation or two and even a feature film that involved Steven Spielberg in 1983 (Twilight Zone: The Movie), but not much else. Earlier this year, we learned that Summit Entertainment would be adapting the "Deathship" episode into a film titled Countdown, which is great news. Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio's production studio, Appian Way, will be digging through the series' material and soliciting script ideas for a feature presentation that is intended to be "one continuing story line based on one or more episodes." This sounds like a great setup.
There's no word yet on which episodes might inspire the new film, though you can imagine that such favorites as "Eye of the Beholder", "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", and "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" could be solid starts. And while DiCarprio's production company is involved, there's no confirmation if the actor will actually play a role. It is pretty well known that DiCarpio is a huge fan of Rod Serling's original show, so the Body of Lies star might actually appear in the production. Let's hope so. For a reason I can't pinpoint, I think he would do a great job with "Twilight Zone" material. Anyone else agree?
Which episodes do you think would be ideal? The show still runs on the Sci-Fi channel, so set that on your Tivo and beef up on the series when you have the chance - I'm sure you've got time. I leave you with the opening narration to "The Shelter", which is just pure sci-fi nostalgia. I hope DiCaprio can come close to capturing this kind of essence of the show and take back ownership of the "Twilight" brand. You know what I mean… "What you're about to watch is a nightmare. It is not meant to be prophetic; it need not happen. It's the fervent and urgent prayer of all men of goodwill that it never shall happen. But in this place, in this moment, it does happen. This is the Twilight Zone."