The classic Twilight Zone episode “Death Ship” is getting a big screen makeover as Countdown, with scripter turned director Michael Brandt at the helm.
The episode tells the story of a spaceships crew, led by Jack Klugman, who land on a planet where they discover a crashed spaceship full of dead bodies that resemble their own. As the crew tries to unravel the mystery, they begin to suspect that they themselves may already be dead. The episode first aired in February 1963.
Though there have been several Twilight Zone revivals on television, the science-fiction anthology series only made the jump to film once before, with 1983’s appropriately named Twilight Zone: The Movie, featuring segments directed by John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller.
Richard Matheson’s original Zone script, based on his own short story was originally adapted to feature length by Stephen Gregg and Scott Burn. Brandt and his writing partner Derek Haas are currently taking a pass through the screenplay before the film’s projected start later this summer.
I can’t boast of seeing every Twilight Zone episode. However, I do remember catching this one years ago and my memory of it is that it seemed rather talky in the middle section. The episode comes from the one season of the series when the show was expanded from half-hour episodes to full hour long installments and from all accounts, frequently felt a bit padded for the longer run time. Although I am sure that there are probably better Zone episodes to adapt to the big screen, I am intrigued to see how this one turns out.
Via Hollywood Reporter.