Jordan Peele Discusses Continuing Rod Serling's Mission with THE TWILIGHT ZONE and The Lack of Imagination in Hollywood
Jordan Peele has been keeping incredibly busy in Hollywood since his film Get Out became a huge hit. He's working on various film and TV projects. He's currently developing the film US, which we don't know much about, but one of the most high-profile projects he's developing is a new Twilight Zone series.
He was very reluctant to jump on board The Twilight Zone. This is an iconic series that creator Rod Serling already executed perfectly. So why did Peele decide to take on the series? He explains in an interview with Variety:
"I was terrified. Why would I ever jump into the most established, pristine shoes in all of the genre? I could rip ‘Twilight Zone’ off and call it something different and not be compared to Rod Serling. So I stepped away from it. And then several months later I got another call."
That call came from Simon Kinberg, who has been trying to get a reboot of the series off the ground for years at CBS. Peele ended up taking a meeting with him and all of a sudden, he found himself excited about the possibilities of what he could do with the series. He went on to explain that he feels it is an opportunity to continue Rod Serling's mission:
"The realization, for me, was that it was an opportunity to attempt to continue with Serling’s mission. If we approach it without ego and sort of bow to Serling, that will hopefully suffice for our fellow ‘Twilight Zone’ fans but also bring back a show that I think is needed right now. Because it’s a show that has always helped us look at ourselves, hold a mirror up to society."
That's a great way to look at it. I'm looking forward to seeing what Peele is planning for his Twilight Zone series and the stories he will tell. Peele goes on to say that he's hesitant about stepping into the shoes of Rod Serling as on-camera presenter role for the revival, but he hasn't ruled it out yet. "Peele worries that his face is too associated with comedy, that his presence would undermine the serious work he’s putting in to do right by Serling’s legacy." Do you think he should be the presenter of the Twilight Zone episodes?
Peele also talked about the lack of imagination in Hollywood and how it is fueling him as a storyteller, saying:
"There has been a lack of imagination in Hollywood, which sets us up to bring in really new, creative ways of storytelling. The imagination, especially, when we talk about representation, has been dull. For years and years and years, there’s this preconceived notion that diversity presents a struggle for projects. Well, the truth is, we haven’t invested in diversity. We haven’t invested in artists. So there’s a lack of courage, and I think, when you take leaps and you bring courage and confidence to projects, it works."
"We can make projects that take courage to produce. When we can give companies a bit of the courage to do something new, something special, something bold and novel can really come from it."
Peele is one of those filmmakers that is really trying to make a difference in Hollywood and with the projects he's involved with. There's no doubt that his success is just going to keep growing as he continues to develop more films and TV projects.