By Tyler Aquilina
June 10, 2019 at 03:54 PM EDT
Michael Short/Getty Images

Steven Spielberg probably isn’t the first filmmaker who springs to mind when thinking of horror (though that Jaws opening sequence remains as terrifying as ever). But the beloved director is taking a swing at the genre, with a unique twist: His show can only be watched when it’s dark out.

On Sunday, Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that Spielberg is writing a horror series for Quibi, the upcoming mobile-based streaming service founded by Katzenberg. At Canada’s Banff World Media Festival, the former Disney executive (and Spielberg’s fellow DreamWorks founder) teased the project, offering a few tantalizing details.

“[Spielberg] came in, and said, ‘I have a super-scary story I want to do,’” Katzenberg said. “He’s writing it himself. He hasn’t [written anything in a while], so getting him to write something is fantastic.”

According to Katzenberg, Spielberg requested the “10- or 12-chapter story” only be viewable after midnight. The Quibi team therefore came up with a nifty device for the show: an in-app clock that counts down until the sun goes down, giving viewers a limited (and spooky) window to watch the series each night. Its working title, fittingly: Spielberg’s After Dark.

Despite his recent scuffle with Netflix over the streamer’s Oscar eligibility, Spielberg is now venturing into streaming-based entertainment on multiple fronts, including a revival of his Amazing Stories anthology series for Apple TV+.

Quibi (short for “quick bites”), a mobile-based platform for viewers on the go, is set to launch April 6, 2020. The service will feature shows with episodes running seven to 10 minutes, according to Katzenberg. Series in the works for Quibi include a court show featuring Chrissy Teigen, “reimagined” versions of MTV’s Punk’d and Singled Out, and unspecified projects from horror maestros Guillermo del Toro and Blumhouse’s Jason Blum.

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