One of the executive producers of the new Twilight Zone says the show is drawing inspiration from a series that probably wouldn't exist if the original Rod Serling-created classic hadn't been around in the first place.
With the resurgent popularity of genre anthology shows — from American Horror Story to Black Mirror — it only makes sense that another reboot of the title that arguably started it all, The Twilight Zone, would find its way back onto the pop culture radar. But the irony is that now the granddaddy of all sci-fi/fantasy/horror anthologies finds itself competing with the very shows it influenced.
Executive producer Simon Kinberg, however, doesn't quite see it that way. In his recent interview with Collider, Kinberg suggested that the creative team behind The Twilight Zone sees shows like Black Mirror as more that just competition for viewers' eyeballs:
"We look at something like Black Mirror obviously as not just the competition but the inspiration, and we want to do something that is cool and different and edgy and, like the original show, has social relevance. So it is something that is socio-political and tackles big themes, but in a fun, science ficiton, genre way, the same way that Get Out did."
Get Out was written and directed by Jordan Peele, who is serving as host and also executive producer on The Twilight Zone, so the reference there is clear. But it also makes sense The Twilight Zone might take a few cues from something like Black Mirror, which throughout its four seasons to date has been just about as cutting edge as a genre program can be. It's the student becoming the teacher, in a way.
With production now underway in Vancouver, Kinberg (who made his remarks a couple of weeks beforehand) declined to say how many episodes the first season would contain, although he did elaborate a bit:
"As we go, as with any television show, you're developing as you're shooting, so we have a few episodes that are already written and done, ready to be shot, and then we have episodes that are outlined and then we have episodes that are just pitches at this point, and as the television season goes, those things get filled out."
He also mentioned that many of the directors for the first season are signed up, and while he wouldn't name names, he hinted that there could be some heavyweight actors lining up to appear on the show:
"There are a lot of actors that want to be in a Twilight Zone — you can be a movie star and sign on for an eight-day commitment, and you're the star of a Twilight Zone episode."
We'll stay tuned for more information on The Twilight Zone as it gets nearer to a premiere date on CBS All Access, but in the meantime, what do you think of the new show being influenced by its own "children," like Black Mirror?