Posted on Saturday, October 15th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Warner Bros. has settled on a director to helm the studio’s new feature based on Rod Serling’s ground-breaking TV series The Twilight Zone. Matt Reeves, director of Cloverfield and Let Me In, will make the movie for the studio based on a script by Jason Rothenberg. What happened to those talks with directors like Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay, Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men), Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and David Yates (Harry Potter films)? I bet Matt Reeves is a lot cheaper, and might have promised a cheaper movie overall. And he might be a better choice than most, too.
Rothenberg was hired to write last October, taking over from The Astronaut’s Wife writer/director Rand Ravich, who wrote the previous draft. The implication was that Rothenberg’s draft was a page one rewrite.
Deadline says that Rothenberg’s script 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.” That makes it a very different Twilight Zone from the last theatrical feature, which was an anthology. And hiring Matt Reeves makes sense, because he has quickly become associated with other projects that have a similar Twilight Zone-derived feel. (This Dark Endeavor, The Passage and 8 O’Clock in the Morning.) It sounds like this will become his next film, if the final negotiations are successful.
Why, exactly, this will be called The Twilight Zone, given that it bears only a thematic relation to Rod Serling’s show? That’s a question worth asking. The answer is probably as simple as ‘branding.’ Selling a standalone weird sci-fi story takes a lot of effort; selling the same thing branded as a Twilight Zone movie could be a lot easier.
If the deal goes through, WB wants to be shooting the movie by next summer.