Posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Just a couple days ago, TNT announced that they were creating a new block of horror programming that would be anchored by a reboot of the horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt. The adaptation of the comic book of the same name was originally on HBO, but now it’s being taken to more tame cable with the help of M. Night Shyamalan. Many fans were wondering just how much of the original TV adaptation would be revamped for the reboot, and it sounds like one signature part of the show will be changed.
Fans of Tales from the Crypt will remember that each episode was introduced and closed by the Crypt Keeper, a talking skeleton voiced by John Kassir with an arsenal of puns and a wicked cackle to follow them. At the time the show was announced, TNT executives said they were saving an announcement about the Crypt Keeper for another time. But someone else has beat them to the punch with the details, and you might not like what they have to say.
UPDATE: M. Night Shyamalan has also chimed in on the matter of the Crypt Keeper below.
Bloody Disgusting reports that the Tales from the Crypt reboot will not bring back the Crypt Keeper from HBO. The pay cable network owns the rights to the character, so he can’t be used in TNT’s version. This report seems to be further supported by the fact that John Kassir himself posted on Twitter:
I'll go on record, "Crypt Keeper as we know him is more popular than ever & it'd be a sham/shame not to have him host the show!!!!!
— John Kassir (@JohnKassir) January 7, 2016
That seems to indicate that at the very least, Kassir hasn’t been contacted about reprising his role of the Tales from the Crypt Crypt Keeper. But as we just said, TNT can’t use the character since HBO has the rights, so there would be no reason to contact Kassir anyway.
So instead of using HBO’s Crypt Keeper to host the Tales from the Crypt reboot, the show will feature an old man with a cane, wearing a hood, and keeping warm by a fireplace. That might sounds dumb to fans of the original TV series, but anyone who fell in love with the original Tales from the Crypt comics knows that description as the original Crypt Keeper, as seen here:
That doesn’t mean the Crypt Keeper can’t still have a personality like the one from HBO. Maybe this new Crypt Keeper is just what the skeleton used to look like before he lost all his skin and most of his hair. We can’t be sure, but Shyamalan specifically reached out to us to say that there will be a new Crypt Keeper:
.@slashfilm I'd never make Tales without the CK! Will be a new take on him as the puppet is property of HBO. Promise he'll be cool and dark!
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) January 9, 2016
However, the change in Crypt Keeper characters may not be the only issue fans will have with this reboot, at least if previous details on the series have stayed the same. Reportedly the new version may not be a weekly anthology series like HBO’s adaptation. Instead, each season will have one storyline for 13 episodes, not unlike American Horror Story, and the first season will focus on voodoo in New Orleans.
That sounds like a bad idea, but I’m not sure those details are accurate anymore. After all, M. Night Shyamalan also posted this to Twitter yesterday:
What are your favorite "Tales from The Crypt" comics and episodes? Looking to adapt some and I’m ready to dig in!
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) January 8, 2016
There would be no reason to ask that if they were planning on using a single storyline for an entire season, so perhaps those details are from the attempted 2011 reboot of the series, which was said to ditch the self-contained single episode format in favor of a serial storyline.
As of now, it’s early days on the Tales from the Crypt series, and I think fans will have to accept that because this is a reboot, not everything will be exactly the same as HBO’s iteration of the show. But I think that the core idea of a horror anthology series with different stories for each episode will still be utilized. We’ll find out later this year since the show is eyeing a premiere this fall.
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