Shortlist includes Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay, Alfonso Cuaron
Warner Bros. is bent on transporting its “Twilight Zone” pic to a higher dimension, focusing on top directors.That was also the studio’s strategy in its 1983 version, but unlike that pic, which had four helmers steering separate segments, this project will feature a single storyline and one director. Mutual interest is brewing between WB and at least three helmers: Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay and Alfonso Cuaron. Sources say Nolan is the front-runner to get the offer, but though he has a close relationship with the studio, it’s not clear whether he’d take on the project due to his schedule and the “Zone” script’s similarities to “Inception.” For Bay, it would be his first opportunity to work with Warner Bros. — and the studio has long coveted his services, given his track record. Sources add that Bay and his team are high on the script, but one possible obstacle is his desire to get started on passion project “Pain and Gain,” a black comedy set in the world of competitive bodybuilding. Cuaron also has a relationship with the studio, as well as the most favorable schedule. He’s wrapping up production on the space adventure “Gravity” and has not committed to his next project. Insiders say David Yates was on the shortlist as well, though his prospects have waned. There’s also a darkhorse in the mix: Rupert Wyatt, whose “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” has earned more than $400 million worldwide. Wyatt has not committed to his next project, either. While each of the directors clearly has the pedigree to handle a project of this size, their vastly different styles suggest that the studio — though committed to hiring a big-name director — has not yet cemented its vision for the tone of the final product. Leonardo DiCaprio would produce through his Appian Way shingle, along with Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Michael Ireland. Jason Rothenberg penned the script, and while plot details are under wraps, sources say the film would feature a single storyline that touches on several themes from the Rod Sterling TV show that ran from 1959-64. The 1983 “Twilight Zone” pic was split into four stories, helmed by Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, John Landis and George Miller.