The Twilight Zone is headed back to the big screen, under the supervision of Tron: Legacy and Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski. And it’s about time; The Twilight Zone could revive the anthology movie, a sorely missed format. But what episodes should this new movie adapt? We have a few suggestions.
They’re probably going to focus on the more effects-heavy episodes for this movie, but they really shouldn’t; The Twilight Zone was about the writing, not the effects, thanks partially to its low budget. With that in mind, here are our choices for episodes a new movie should tackle.
This deserves a shot not least because this episode, directed by horror legend Jacques Tourneur and written by Richard Matheson, got screwed by history not once, but twice: The first time when it was delayed due to the Kennedy assassination, the second time by being put against the freaking Beatles. But this powerful story of regret, stubbornness, and tragedy really deserves a second shot. Plus, it’s creepy as hell, which helps.
A Kind Of Stopwatch
The nasty karmic irony The Twilight Zone was so well known for was never nastier than in this episode, probably one of the best horror stories the franchise ever produced. A boring pill of a human being is given a stopwatch that, much to his surprise, stops time; needless to say, owning such a fancy gadget soon bites him, hard. If the concept sounds familiar, the idea has lingered everywhere from Simpsons spoofs to Mario power-ups.
The original episode, about a man obsessed with a living dollhouse, was largely carried by a superb performance by Robert Duvall. Thanks to a lawsuit, it was largely kept out of the public eye, but it’s a great showcase for an actor, and it’d also be fun to see what modern special effects could do for the story.
The Jeopardy Room
OK, so you’ll have to change the title and probably the details a bit: The idea of the Soviets hunting down a Cold War defector is a wee bit dated. On the other hand, having a man trapped in a room with a bomb he can’t find, sweating it out, is always a fun story and, again, a showcase for a good actor.
Person Or Persons Unknown
The Twilight Zone, as a show, was arguably at its best when dealing with issues of identity and depersonalization, and this is a killer example of both. It’s a pretty classic story: A man wakes up and nobody knows who he is, but they’re happy to lock him up in an asylum for insisting he exists when he obviously doesn’t.
Of course, this will probably just be Nightmare at 20,000 Feet rehashed with Vin Diesel, where he fights the Gremlin on the wing of the plane, but hey, we can dream.
(Image courtesy of CBS Home Video)