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WIRE Buzz: Twilight Zone back to black and white; Disney plants Garden of Abdul Gasazi; more

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May 30, 2019

The current reboot of The Twilight Zone regularly pays loving homage to its Rod Serling-led predecessor. Now the new anthology is going all the way back to its roots by showing all episodes in black and white.

CBS All Access, the exclusive home to the series, first announced earlier this month that the black-and-white option would be available. Now the day has come, and subscribers will be able to choose between a new black-and-white rendition of the first 10 episodes. Of course, all 10 are still available in color as well.

The series, which is produced by Oscar winner Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg, was just renewed for a second season on CBS' streaming service back in April. Like the original series, which turns 60 this year, The Twilight Zone uses conventional genre tropes to deliver brutally honest commentary on the ills of modern society.

You can catch the entire first season of The Twilight Zone on CBS All Access.


The entity now known as Fox/Disney has acquired the rights to The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, the best-selling children's book from Chris Van Allsburg. Deadline reports that Shazam! scribe Darren Lemke will handle the adaptation, with Van Allsburg himself serving as executive producer.

The Garden of Abdul Gasazi was the first book by Van Allsburg, who later went on to write Jumanji and The Polar Express, both of which have been turned into big-budget features. As the title suggests, the story follows a young boy who goes off to rescue a dog, Fritz, who's run off into the great magician Abdul Gasazi's forbidden garden.

The book was a runner-up for the prestigious Caldecott Honor medal in 1979, which Van Allsburg later won in '81 for Jumanji, and again in '85 for The Polar Express.


Finally, The Bartimaeus Sequence may rise again. The rights to the four-book fantasy series from author Jonathan Stroud have been acquired by Start Media. As Deadline reports, the company is hoping it becomes the next blockbuster franchise.

The rights to the series were acquired by Miramax way back in 2002, right around the time Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings were basically printing money at the box office. However, it never managed to get out of development hell.

Michael Maher of Start Media, who produced the sci-fi flick Passengers, spent years trying to sort out the rights and will help personally finance its development.

The series centers on hip teen magician Nathaniel and his relationship with the 5,000-year-old Bartimaeus in a world where magic has always existed. Described as a darker Harry Potter, the books have sold 6 million copies in 35 languages.


 

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