Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Brandt to Adapt Twilight Zone Episode

First-time director Michael Brandt will turn a classic episode of The Twilight Zone by Richard Matheson into a feature length film called Countdown for Summit Entertainment. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film "revolves around a group of astronauts who land on a planet only to find a crashed spaceship and corpses that eerily resemble their own. They then must piece together where they are and whether they might in fact already be dead."

The original episode was entitled Death Ship, and was written by regular TZ writer Richard Matheson, who based it on his own previously published short story. He also wrote the novel I Am Legend. B

THR also says that Brandt is rewriting the screenplay with his writing partner Derek Haas and that it is based on an earlier screenplay by Stephen Gregg and Scott Burn. Brandt and Haas have collaborated on such movies as 3:10 to Yuma and 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Production could begin as early as late summer, and is expected to cost in the $30 million range.

Do Twilight Zone fans feel any strong feelings about this? I'm still on the fence, myself. On the one hand, you could get worse source material. On the other hand, Hollywood has a tendency to ruin clever ideas. On a third hand, 3:10 to Yuma was a fantastic remake, so maybe Brandt and Haas can be trusted to spruce up 1950s-60s material without spoiling what made it work in the first place. Or did the original episode work? I've never seen it. Opinions needed.

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