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The TV Remake Revolution is alive and well, but there’s one particular reboot coming that is only as healthy as the freshest cadaver. I’m speaking of TNT’s upcoming Tales from the Crypt, which is being put together by the polarizing filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. Though early details about format changes have been swirling in the months since the show was first announced, we haven’t really heard anything specific about what to expect until now. And for better or worse, Shyamalan now makes it sound like this new version is going to resemble the old one in just about every way.
The first item on the agen-dead is that most gruesomely hilarious of all TV personalities, The Crypt Keeper. It was rumored a while back that the puppet maestro would be absent from this modern reimagining, with even the voice actor John Kassir publically saying he hadn’t been contacted by anyone. And that was either never true, or Shyamalan caught wind of some of the backlash that rumor propelled, because he confirmed to journalists at Wondercon that there will definitely be a Crypt Keeper in the future of Tales from the Crypt. Assuming he and his team don’t choose to cause more outrage by going with some other voice actor for the role, this announcement is a pretty joyous one.
Then there’s the episode formatting. Shyamalan had previously expressed interest in spinning out season-long arcs, putting Tales from the Crypt in the same family of anthologies as American Horror Story and American Crime. But now it appears he’s mentally going back to basics on the approach. Here’s his wishy-washy description, according to SlashFilm.
You know, I can’t say 100% but I’m thinking right now, where I am, if you’d asked me this six months ago I would have a different answer, but where I am right now it’s more individual Black Mirror kind of stuff right now.
Black Mirror, for those unaware, is a fantastically dark and clever British series that take aspects of modern technology to sometimes absurdist extremes in each episode. If you’re shooting for the best possible comparison to make in terms of genre anthology shows that are both brainy and discomfortingly comedic, that’s currently the best one to make. Do I really think TNT’s Tales from the Crypt will earn that coupling? Probably not, but I’m anxious to see the attempts to do so.
M. Night Shyamalan’s jump to television last year as an executive producer on Wayward Pines ended up being a lot more successful than I’d expected, making Season 2 of the summer series one of my only-vaguely-guilty pleasures of upcoming 2016 TV. I’m anxious to see what kinds of Crypt Keeper puns he’ll be supervising.
There’s no telling when Tales from the Crypt will hit TNT, though we hope a release date near Halloween is in the cards here. And while we’re hoping for things, maybe this will be successful enough to light a fire under The CW’s ass to get their Tales from the Darkside reboot back on the front burners.