Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Twilight Zone episode "Death Ship" to be Feature

3:10 to Yuma collaborators Michael Brandt and Derek Haas are working on an adaptation (based on an original screenplay by Stephen Gregg and Scott Burn) of The Twilight Zone episode "Death Ship." This episode, which originally aired on February 7, 1963, is one of the better hour-long episodes. It's about three astronauts who land on a planet and discover a space craft that resembles their own: and make a surprising discovery inside.

The Twilight Zone is in my opinion (and many others) the greatest television series of all-time: and so many episodes are ripe for the feature film remake treatment. The only problem is making superior 30/60-minute stories into feature-length (particularly when the best were the 30-minute ones). The other obstacle Brandt acknowledged to The Hollywood Reporter: "The [science-fiction story] updates that are successful... are those that take the idea and bring a modern sensibility to it."

The original is not a Rod Serling story, but one of Richard Mathesons', based on a March 1953 short story. I hope Matheson sees the film and comments on it (providing it turns out good). The movie is called Countdown and has an estimated 2009 release date. The budget is modest, but hopefully they can pull the necessary effects off: the original episode is a mix of pretty good to not-so-great in the effects department.

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