There was a time not long ago when we were all really looking forward to a reboot of the classic horror anthology TV series Tales From the Crypt, which TNT was developing with M. Night Shyamalan as part of an entire night of horror programming. The show was originally supposed to premiere later this year, ideally in time for Halloween, but a complicated rights issue got in the way and the show has since been shelved. TNT President Kevin Reilly has given us some hope that this Tales From the Crypt revival could still happen someday, but don't hold your breath.
Kevin Reilly recently spoke with Deadline about the whole Tales From the Crypt debacle. According to him, it is one of the most complicated rights issues he has ever encountered in the industry, which is why the show isn't happening. At least not now. Though, if things can ever get resolved, they will be happy to revisit it at that time. Here's what he had to say about it.
"It's been fun with lawyers, it's been really fun. We did not know from the get-go or else we would not have announced it and made a big deal out of it. But in fact, there were rights. It is among the most, if not the most, complicated rights structure I've ever seen in my career, and we had no idea as we got into it. It became a nightmare. So we said, 'Fine.' If and when this gets cleaned up, we'll revisit."
The original Tales From the Crypt series, based on the 1950s EC Comics, aired on HBO from 1989 to 1996. There were also several Tales From the Crypt movies, including Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood. All of this centered on the host, the Crypt Keeper, a character that was rumored to be just one part of the massive rights mess that the show finds itself in. Unfortunately for fans, TNT couldn't just keep dumping money and time into something that wasn't totally sorted out on the legal side of things.
"That one got really caught up in a complete legal mess unfortunately with a very complicated underlying rights structure. We lost so much time, so I said, 'Look, I'm not waiting around four years for this thing'. Maybe that will come back around..."
Tales from the Crypt was going to be part of a whole block of horror that would have included original shorts as well as a series that was tentatively titled Time of Death. Fans got really amped up when a couple of teaser trailers, which were later revealed to be for in-house use only by TNT, made their way online. Kevin Reilly seems just as annoyed by the whole thing as the fans do, if not more so, which is good in a way. The good news is, he seems to want Tales From the Crypt to still happen when and if the rights get cleared up. The problem is, it simply doesn't sound like that is going to happen anytime soon.