UPDATE: Influential science fiction and fantasy author Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, The Twilight Zone) died yesterday from natural causes at his home, surrounded by friends and family. He was 87. “For having such a fantastic imagination, he passed very peacefully,” son Richard Matheson Jr. told Deadline. “He was not only a monumental talent, he was also every bit a father, friend, and husband.” Friend and fellow author Harlan Ellison wrote today, “I am downsmashed.”
The celebrated writer began his 6-decade-plus career in 1950 with the story “Born Of Man And Woman,” published in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction. Matheson’s best-known and oft-adapted works ranged from short stories like “Button, Button” (which Richard Kelly adapted into The Box) to novels including I Am Legend (adapted four times into features The Last Man On Earth, The Omega Man, I Am Omega and I Am Legend). Matheson wrote more than a dozen episodes of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone — including “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet,” starring William Shatner, which was remade as a segment of 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie — and penned the evil Kirk “Enemy Within” episode of Star Trek. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Twilight Zone is eying a return to primetime. X-Men director Bryan Singer has closed a deal to develop, executive produce and possibly direct a reboot of Rod Serling’s classic. The drama series project, now in early stages, is set up at CBS TV Studios, which owns the rights to the original series. Search is underway for a writer to pen the new Twilight Zone pending finalizing the deal with the Serling estate. The project has not been pitched to networks yet, but CBS is an obvious destination since CBS TV Studios only supplies CBS and the CW on the broadcast side and CBS carried the original series as well as the first revival. In addition to the TV series project, there has been a feature Twilight Zone remake in the works at Warner Bros. with Matt Reeves attached to direct from a script by Jason Rothenberg.
The original Twilight Zone series ran on CBS from 1959-1964. CBS also aired a remake, which ran from 1985-1989. The most recent series reboot, hosted by Forest Whitaker, premiered on UPN in 2002 and lasted one season. Singer, who directed the pilot for Fox’s long-running medical drama House, which he executive produced, recently helmed and exec produced another reboot of a classic series, NBC’s Munsters-themed Mockingbird Lane pilot, which aired as a Halloween special. On the feature side, Singer … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Let Me In and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has been chosen by Warner Bros to direct The Twilight Zone, the Jason Rothenberg-scripted thriller based on the classic Rod Serling TV series. Negotiations will get underway early next week, but this is an assignment that was coveted by a number of top directors.
The Twilight Zone is being produced by Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Michael Ireland. Warner Bros’ Matt Cherniss is the exec. Though the last Twilight Zone film was an anthology with different directors, this one is a big science fiction action movie with a single freestanding story that is linked to the original series mainly in that it shares that familiarly eerie feel. The hope is to sign to sign Reeves quickly, continue to work on the script and get the picture into production by next summer.
Reeves is aligned with several major projects that will keep him busy for some time. He recently signed on to develop to direct This Dark Endeavor, a revisionist take on the Frankenstein tale based on Kenneth Oppel’s novel, with Jacob Aaron Estes writing the script for Summit Entertainment. Reeves is also attached to direct the Justin Cronin vampire novel The Passage for Fox 2000, and he’s got a deal at Universal to write and direct a film based on the Ray Nelson short story 8 O’Clock in … Read More »
CBS Corp. and Netflix just announced a two-year, non-exclusive licensing agreement that will allow library CBS series to be streamed via Nexflix. Included in the deal are dramas Medium, Flashpoint, the original Hawaii Five-0, the different incarnations of Star Trek as well as Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone. On the comedy side, included are Frasier, Cheers, Family Ties and The Andy Griffith Show. The shows will be available in April.