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Leonardo DiCaprio eyes the 'Zone'

Warners, Appian Way in early stages of 'Twilight' feature

By Steven Zeitchik

July 25, 2008, 12:00 AM ET

Could the eerie music of "The Twilight Zone" soon be playing again at the movies?

Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Way are in the early stages of seeking material for a feature take on one or more episodes from the classic TV series.

The studio and production company are quietly putting out word to creators that they are looking for pitches and script ideas based on the show for feature development.

The companies are not seeking to remake an episodic movie, as the only big-screen version of the show did 25 years ago, but rather hope to build one continuing story line based on one or more episodes.

Warners is negotiating for rights to the Rod Serling-penned episodes, which is owned by the Serling estate. The episodes comprise the bulk of its 1959-64 run. The Serling shows include famous episodes such as "To Serve Man," about giant aliens who land on Earth to serve humans as food, and "Eye of the Beholder," about an inverted society where the attractive are considered ugly. About 155 episodes of the original series exist.

A feature adaptation could be a passion project of sorts for DiCaprio, who in interviews has cited "Twilight Zone" as his favorite show.

Thanks to syndication -- the show runs on Sci Fi Channel -- and many pop-culture homages, "Twilight Zone" continues to have a devoted, if somewhat older-skewing, fan base nearly five decades after it left the airwaves.

In 1983, Warners released a four-segment film based on the series. Each segment was helmed by a different director -- Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller and Steven Spielberg -- with three of the segments remakes of classic episodes.

The movie drew modest boxoffice and was known mainly for a supposed curse after Vic Morrow and two child actors died during production.

The news of a possible Twilight Zone movie comes as "The X-Files," another film adaptation of a paranormal-themed television series, opens this weekend.

There have been other attempts at "Zone" updates over the years, particularly on television; CBS made a TV movie in 1994 based on several Serling episodes, and a short-lived show aired on UPN six years ago. On the film side, Summit is currently working on a film version of the Richard Matheson-penned "Countdown," about astronauts who land on a planet only to find a spacecraft that looks remarkably similar to their own.

Leonardo DiCaprio eyes the 'Zone'

Warners, Appian Way in early stages of 'Twilight' feature

By Steven Zeitchik

July 25, 2008, 12:00 AM ET

Could the eerie music of "The Twilight Zone" soon be playing again at the movies?

Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Way are in the early stages of seeking material for a feature take on one or more episodes from the classic TV series.

The studio and production company are quietly putting out word to creators that they are looking for pitches and script ideas based on the show for feature development.

The companies are not seeking to remake an episodic movie, as the only big-screen version of the show did 25 years ago, but rather hope to build one continuing story line based on one or more episodes.

Warners is negotiating for rights to the Rod Serling-penned episodes, which is owned by the Serling estate. The episodes comprise the bulk of its 1959-64 run. The Serling shows include famous episodes such as "To Serve Man," about giant aliens who land on Earth to serve humans as food, and "Eye of the Beholder," about an inverted society where the attractive are considered ugly. About 155 episodes of the original series exist.

A feature adaptation could be a passion project of sorts for DiCaprio, who in interviews has cited "Twilight Zone" as his favorite show.

Thanks to syndication -- the show runs on Sci Fi Channel -- and many pop-culture homages, "Twilight Zone" continues to have a devoted, if somewhat older-skewing, fan base nearly five decades after it left the airwaves.

In 1983, Warners released a four-segment film based on the series. Each segment was helmed by a different director -- Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller and Steven Spielberg -- with three of the segments remakes of classic episodes.

The movie drew modest boxoffice and was known mainly for a supposed curse after Vic Morrow and two child actors died during production.

The news of a possible Twilight Zone movie comes as "The X-Files," another film adaptation of a paranormal-themed television series, opens this weekend.

There have been other attempts at "Zone" updates over the years, particularly on television; CBS made a TV movie in 1994 based on several Serling episodes, and a short-lived show aired on UPN six years ago. On the film side, Summit is currently working on a film version of the Richard Matheson-penned "Countdown," about astronauts who land on a planet only to find a spacecraft that looks remarkably similar to their own.


 


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