A reboot of the vintage television series The Twilight Zone was announced last year from Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions and Simon Kinberg's Genre Films. At the time, Peele was only listed as one of the executive producers of the show. However, on Wednesday, September 20, it was announced that he will also serve as the host and narrator for the sci-fi program.
The innovative anthology series made its television debut on CBS on October 2, 1959, and ran for five seasons. Created, hosted, narrated, and co-written by the late Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone featured unusual, standalone tales that some people found scary, disturbing, or crazy. At the end of most episodes, there was usually a strange twist and a lesson to be learned. Often containing paranormal elements, the black-and-white show has become a cult classic and was one of the first TV series to receive day-long marathons, often on holidays like New Year's Day or the Fourth of July.
"Rod Serling was an uncompromising visionary who not only shed light on social issues of his time, but prophesied issues of ours," said Peele about the latest incarnation of the series, according to Deadline.
"I'm honored to carry on his legacy to a new generation of audiences as the gatekeeper of The Twilight Zone."The new series will begin production this fall, and is slated to start airing on CBS All Access at some point in 2019. To familiarize newer viewers with the series, the streaming service has all 156 episodes from the original Twilight Zone available to watch.
The network released a teaser on YouTube previewing the reboot. In the black-and-white clip, the series' eerie iconic theme music plays and the legendary series intro is voiced by both Serling and Peele.
"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Twilight Zone."
Prior to this latest reboot, the Twilight Zone was revived in 1985 for three seasons (two on CBS and one in syndication), and on UPN for one season in 2002 with Forest Whitaker as the on-screen host and narrator.
In 1983, there was also a film, Twilight Zone: The Movie, which featured a prologue and remakes of three episodes from the original television series directed by John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller. Burgess Meredith acted as the narrator, and the segments starred the likes of John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Dan Aykroyd, Kathleen Quinlan, and Nancy Cartwright.
Peele first garnered attention as a regular on Mad TV beginning in 2003. In 2012, Comedy Central gave the New York native and Keegan-Michael Key their own sketch comedy series, Key & Peele, which won an Emmy Award in 2016 for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.The 39-year-old has acted in television shows like Childrens Hospital, Fargo, and Life in Pieces, and he is the co-creator and an executive producer of TBS' The Last O.G., which stars Tracy Morgan.
On the silver screen, Peele is most known for directing, writing, and producing Get Out, which won him an Oscar in 2018 for Best Original Screenplay.