Now that Warner Bros. has reportedly hired a writer for its new Twilight Zone movie — Jason Rothenberg, whose only credit appears to be a 2009 TV movie called Body Politic — we thought we’d waste some time thinking about which episodes of the vintage TV show Rothenberg should adapt. As you’ll recall, the 1983 big-screen version updated four classic stories from Rod Serling’s old series — “Time Out,” “Kick the Can,” It’s a Good Life,” and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” — with each segment directed by a different big-name filmmaker (Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, John Landis, and George Miller). That only leaves 152 other original episodes to choose from. Decisions, decisions… Read on for my picks:
“The Invaders”: Betty White could play the elderly farm woman who discovers that a mini flying saucer has landed in the attic of her country cabin. There isn’t a lot of dialogue in the episode — the woman mostly grunts as she swats at the tiny marauding aliens with an axe — but you do hear the alien SOS broadcast at the end, warning of a planet filled with giants. Then you see the writing on the side of the space ship: US Air Force Space Probe 1.
“To Serve Man”: I’m seeing Will Ferrell as the big-brained Kanamit alien (see photo above) who comes to Earth carrying a book titled To Serve Man. Steve Carell could play Michael Chambers, the code-breaker who discovers that the tome is actually… A high-protein, low-carb Atkins for Aliens cookbook!
“Five Characters in Search of an Exit”: In the original, it was five dolls trapped in a toy donation cylinder trying to escape. How about updating it to action figures, and giving it a grittier, more poignant setting? Iron Man wakes up in landfill next to Optimus Prime, Buzz Lightyear, and Darth Vader.
“Time Enough At Last”: They don’t make actors like Burgess Meredith anymore. Who today could possibly play Henry Bemis, the mild-mannered bookworm who wanted nothing more than to read in peace and quiet — and who almost got his wish. Tobey Maguire? Topher Grace? Tracy Morgan?
What do you think, PopWatchers? Which TZ episdes would you want to see remade for the big screen?