It has been 20 years since the original Tales from the Crypt went off the air, but luckily for horror fans, a revival is on the way. It was announced earlier in the year that TNT is bringing the horror series back to TV, with M. Night Shyamalan taking over creative duties this time around. TNT president Kevin Reilly has finally given us a timeframe in which we can expect to see the show, as well as some more details about the network's larger plans for the new Tales From the Crypt.
/Film recently spoke with Reilly about the upcoming revival, and he revealed quite a bit about what viewers will be seeing. He also revealed that their version of Tales From the Crypt will debut "towards the end of '17, in the fourth quarter '17." That may not be overly specific, but what Reilly revealed about the network's plans for the show is much more telling. Here is what he had to say.
"I think it may even be longer than an hour. There's going to be a half-hour anthology and then a one-hour original show with some shorts in between. So it's part of a whole block. The original half-hour, sort of slightly comedic, kind of twisted [story] that Night himself is going to direct will be a part of it every week. Then we're going to have rotating original one-hours. Then we've got shorts that'll be part of it too."
Based on his statements, it sounds like TNT is aiming to make Tales From the Crypt a big event every week for horror fans. Also, based on his stated timeframe for the release, it seems like the network could also be aiming for a Halloween debut next year, which would make a lot of sense. One of the most iconic bits from the HBO version of Tales From the Crypt is Crypt Keeper, who was voiced by John Kassir. TNT plans to use some version of the character, but they have to redesign and update him for their version of the series, for legal reasons according to Reilly.
"The rights on this are just a disaster. It's been a mess trying to sort out. There are so many people that seem to have an ownership position on this. So yeah, that's both a creative and legal thing."
The "block" that Reilly spoke about will be including new Tales From the Crypt episodes, which will seemingly all be directed by Shyamalan based on his statement. After a string of disastrous critical bombs, Shyamalan was able to bounce back with The Visit last year, so hopefully that should give fans some confidence heading into this reboot. The "one hour original show" that Reilly is speaking about seems to be another show that the network is working on called Time of Death, which is a working title. That show is said to be an hour-long anthology series that is told in real time, and the first season will follow a murderous psychopath who returns to his Midwestern hometown during the annual county fair, seeking revenge on those who ruined his life. It is said to pay tribute to slasher films of the 80s like Friday the 13th.
As for the shorts that Reilly talked about, those are going to be something else entirely. Should he and the network be able to work out the logistics, they want to be able to crowdsource the ideas for the shorts, and use fan ideas and submissions for them. There are some logistical problems with it, but Reilly is hoping they can be worked out.
"I don't even think we've announced this yet but we are working with Wattpad and ultimately I'd like some material to come from [from viewers]. We have some Guild issues we need to work out on this, but I'd like fan fiction to essentially make its way to our air."
TNT is also developing another horror themed show from Outcast producer Sue Naegle called Creatures, but it is unclear if that show will be part of the Tales From the Crypt horror block as well. 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. We will be sure to keep you updated as more details and a firm premiere date for the show become available.