The granddaddy of surreal, science fiction television anthologies is returning. CBS announced today that it has issued a series order for a revival of The Twilight Zone from Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films for its All Access streaming service.
Peele and Kinberg, along with Marco Ramirez (Marvel’s The Defenders), will serve as executive producers on the show and will “collaborate on the premiere episode.” CBS has yet to announce a release date, casting, or any other writers attached to the project. Like Star Trek: Discovery, however, the show is destined as exclusive content for the network’s paid streaming service, CBS All Access.
Created by Rod Sterling, the original show premiered on CBS in 1959, telling a series of moralistic, self-contained science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories each week. The show ran for five years, and has since become a major cultural touchstone. This isn’t the first time that CBS has sought to reboot the series. The first effort came in 1985 and lasted for three seasons, while UPN produced a single season of its own reboot in 2002. CBS also began exploring an updated version in 2012 that was to be helmed by X-Men director Bryan Singer, though the project never came to fruition.
Science fiction and horror anthology shows have been on the upswing in recent years, and it looks as though CBS is hoping to capitalize on the trend. The UK’s Channel 4 and Netflix have scored their own Twilight Zone-style hit with Charlie Booker’s Black Mirror, while Amazon Studios has released a series based on the podcast Lore, and is also readying Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, which will feature adaptations of the late author’s numerous short stories in an anthology format.
Peele seems like a good choice to head up the revival, especially after his critical success with this year’s Get Out, a Twilight Zone-esque horror thriller that used genre tropes to explore race and other social issues, with plenty of unexpected and politically-pointed twists. Earlier this year, he told The Verge that he hoped to direct more of what he termed “social thrillers,” a goal which aligns neatly with the mission of The Twilight Zone. This isn’t Peele’s only television project, either. He’s currently working on an adaptation of Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel Lovecraft Country for HBO.
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