It’s been nearly three months since TNT announced it was pushing the reboot button on HBO’s Tales From the Crypt with M. Night Shyamalan at the helm. Since then, nothing much was heard from either the network or Shyamalan besides the fact that yes, there will be a new Crypt Keeper.
When the news first broke, the information we were given was that the planned horror series was part of a bigger deal between TNT and the Wayward Pines director, and that Shyamalan was to create a two-hour block filled with horror and suspense content with the new Tales From the Crypt being the centerpiece of that deal. It was also revealed that not only would the show be based on the original 1950s EC Comics by William Gaines, but that it would also feature some brand-new stories.
During the Television Critics Association press tour in January, TNT and TBS executive Kevin Reilly also teased the possibility of an audience-participation component when he spoke with the assembled press. Whatever that means.
However, not a hint was given about the show’s format. No news on whether or not the new Tales From the Crypt would feature half-hour stand-alone episodes much like the original 1989-1996 HBO series or if TNT would play in the one-hour format sandbox.
While promoting the second season of Wayward Pines at this weekend’s WonderCon, /Film asked M. Night Shyamalan for an update on Tales From the Crypt, and what kind of format we could expect from the new macabre horror series. Shyamalan admitted he first considered season-long arcs, a la American Horror Story, but now prefers the episodic model like The Twilight Zone anthology series, or, more recently, Black Mirror.
“You know, I can’t say 100% but I’m thinking right now, where I am, if you’d asked me this six months ago I would have a different answer, but where I am right now it’s more individual Black Mirror kind of stuff right now.”
For those who’ve never heard of it, Black Mirror is a British anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that aired on Channel 4 in the UK (and later on Neflix) from 2011-2013 (a third 12-episode season was ordered by the streaming service late last year), featuring speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes, Each episode featured a different cast, setting and, sometimes, even a different reality. To be fair, the Tales From the Crypt HBO series also featured new stories, cast and filmmakers for each of their episodes.
What do you think? Is that the kind of format you prefer for Tales From the Crypt? Or were you hoping for something along the lines of American Horror Story?