Are you ready to enter the dimension of imagination?
We’ve tried this before.
The original Twilight Zone, hosted by Rod Serling, went off the air in 1964. But thanks to TV marathons and the show’s wide-reaching influence on future creators, the series has never lost its pop culture currency. And it’s why people have tried, for decades, to recapture lightning in a bottle. There was the remake that lasted from 1985-1989 and a second one that lasted one season in 2003.
Now CBS is attempting a third reboot. And this time, the buzz has been more rampant than before. A teaser, two trailers, a poster, and the mind of Jordan Peele behind it all has audiences and critics hopeful that maybe this time, the reboot will deliver on the original. At a time when prestige television is at a high and genre fiction reigns supreme, a new Twilight Zone has never been more likely to succeed..
Here is everything we know about the 2019 reboot of The Twilight Zone. And if you can’t wait for the new series, you can watch all the original episodes on CBS All-Access. Here’s our gallery of the 13 scariest episodes to get you started. Sweet dreams!
Disclosure: CBS is GameSpot’s parent company.
We know Twilight Zone’s premiere date.
Filming on the new Twilight Zone began this past October, and it’s expected to continue into late March. As far as the show’s premiere date, CBS made the announcement in February: After its Monday, April 1 premiere of Episodes 1 and 2, The Twilight Zone will release one new episode every Thursday, beginning on April 11. There will be 10 episodes total for Season 1.
The reboot will stream on CBS All Access.
CBS’s streaming subscription service is going to get a lot more enticing. It currently hosts the exclusive Star Trek Discovery. It streamed the 61st annual Grammy Awards this past February. And now, it will be the new home for The Twilight Zone.
Episode 1 and Episode 2 will premiere on the service on Monday, April 1.
Jordan Peele is the new Rod Serling.
Rod Serling, the original creepy host of the black-and-white Twilight Zone, is tough to live up to. The first remake didn’t even try; it had a voiceover, but no on-camera narrator. The second remake used Forest Whitaker as a host; to be fair, you can’t really go wrong with Forest Whitaker.
And Jordan Peele, probably feeling the pressure and burden of history, was hesitant to step into the host role; he feared that his background in sketch comedy might cause the show to not be taken seriously. Obviously, he’s relented, which is for the best, especially after witnessing what he can do behind the camera with Get Out.
That Peele takes his responsibility seriously, and understands how crucial the role is to the show’s success, is an excellent sign.
We got an enticing tease during the Super Bowl.
We’ve gotten only a handful of promotional footage since CBS announced this series. The first teaser trailer was released last September: Rod Serling’s classic introduction slowly merged into Jordan Peele’s updated version, as the trademark, creepy music played in the background.
The second trailer “interrupted” the Super Bowl in February. Jordan Peele, now fully immersed in his Rod Serling character, gives a philosophical monologue to an empty football stadium. He then walks through a door on the field and disappears into the ether. Great stuff.
There’s one official trailer so far.
On February 21, we finally got an official trailer and our most complete footage thus far of the reboot.
We see what appears be a mysterious video camera with supernatural powers. We see a man who is living different versions of his ordinary reality. We see clips of a man on an airplane, who apparently later crashlands on an island. We see footage of a young boy who becomes President of the United States. We see long hallways, a man in pinstripes and a fedora, a dark prison, and a smoking man at a bar.
Any of these pitches would sound intriguing in a creative meeting. Soon, we’ll see if they look just as good in practice.
It has an all star cast.
The cast for this series, keeping with Twilight Zone tradition, features many popular, contemporary actors. And why wouldn’t it? From the actor’s perspective, there’s the chance he or she could appear in a classic sketch. Since it’s a rotating cast of guest stars, there isn’t a large time commitment to be a part of something special.
Just based on the official trailer, it seems that Kumail Najiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Sanaa Lathan (The Best Man, The Affair), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), and Steven Yeun (Okja, The Walking Dead) will all star in different episodes.
Greg Kinnear, Tracy Morgan, and John Cho can also be seen in the trailer. There have also been separate press announcements for many of the other actors, including Taissa Farmiga and Ginnifer Goodwin.
We know episode titles, and that one episode might be a remake of a classic.
We know five out of the ten episode titles so far. “Rewind” will the first episode about the mysterious video camera, starring Lathan. “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet” will star Scott. “The Traveler” will star Yeun and Kinnear. “Wunderkind” will star Cho. And “Point of Origin” will star Goodwin.
Of these, there is one direct tribute to an original, classic Twilight Zone episode titled “Nightmare at 20,000 feet.” In that episode, a man originally played by William Shatner is flying in a plane and spots a creature on the wing, trying to make the plane crash, but when he tries to warn everyone, no one believes him.
In fact, we see a doll of the gremlin wash up on the shore in the trailer (see slide 5 above). Are this past episode and this future episode somehow connected? Or is the new one just a remake of the classic?
It takes brass to take on a bonafide television classic. And Jordan Peele knows it; at first, he didn’t want to touch it.
“The realization, for me, was that it was an opportunity to attempt to continue with Serling’s mission,” said Peele in an interview with Variety. “If we approach it without ego and sort of bow to Serling, that will hopefully suffice for our fellow Twilight Zone fans but also bring back a show that I think is needed right now. Because it’s a show that has always helped us look at ourselves, hold a mirror up to society.”