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."
I've always thought The Twilight Zone is the greatest show in the history of television. Some great episodes to adapt: Nick of Time Jess-Belle The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank Five Characters in Search of an Exit Perchance to Dream The Prime Mover 100 Yards Over the Rim The Lateness of the Hour The Hitchhiker Printer's Devil Mr. Dingle, The Strong and one they could make truly frightening: Living Doll
Krug on Jul 25, 2008
Don't forget Richard Kelly is making a 80's revival Twilight Zone episode based on a Richard Matheson short-story (like the film "Countdown") titled "The Box". But from the original Twilight Zone series I'd go with: A World of Difference Time Enough at Last And When the Sky Was Opened The Last Flight Third from the Sun Little Girl Lost (though this has already be apdated into a film titled "Poltergeist") A World of His Own By the way, all of the episodes listed above were also written by Richard Matheson as well.
TheGuyInThePJ's on Jul 25, 2008
^Oops... minus "Time Enough at Last".
TheGuyInThePJ's on Jul 25, 2008
Time Enough At Last is amazing...but it would be killed by everyone comparing it to I am Legend etc. There are endless possibilities. I always felt the half hour was good enough sometimes. It gave you just enough to be freaked out. The only way this will be fantastic is...I can't give my ideas away, sorry.
wm on Jul 25, 2008
Isn't M. Night trying to make his own Twilight Zone movies? The stories aren't as good as Matheson and Serling. My biggest problem with this one is we would easily know the spoilers/turning points well in advance, so they'd have to have good atmospherics or twist the twist, so to speak. Although the only good vignette in the 1983 "Twilight Zone: The Movie" was the one that was practically lifted word for word, shot by shot, from the TV series, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." The other ones, particularly Spielberg's, sucked ass.
The Brain on Jul 25, 2008
When I first read this, I tried to recall the episode that struck me as the most strange and I came up with "Eye of the Beholder" - it's orginal title was "The Private World of Darkness" - it originally aired on November 11, 1960. 14 years later to the day, Mr. DiCaprio was born! So WB/Appian Way should definiately throw this storyline in there somewhere. It was SPOOKY-OOKY! Go green...save the planet...do your part!
Pleasant Wayne on Jul 25, 2008
So Twilight Zone will be a movie franchise type thing????
Ryan on Jul 26, 2008
Sorry, new comments are no longer allowed.