M. Night Shyamalan Revamps ‘Tales from the Crypt’ As Part of New TNT Horror Block

Tales from the Crypt Comic
Courtesy of Shelter PR

M. Night Shyamalan is unlocking “Tales from the Crypt.”

A new version of the HBO late-night anthology series will lead a new two-hour block of terror and suspense-themed programming for TNT, which will be curated by the Oscar-nominated writer-director. Plots for “Tales from the Crypt” will be based on William Gaines’s original EC Comics along with new stories. It will not be based on the long-running HBO series.

“It is an umbrella for what hopefully will be many shows,” TNT president Kevin Reilly said during his executive session at Television Critics Association on Thursday in Pasadena, Calif. “We’re going to put a variety of different genre shows, some of which may have a weird sense of humor, some of which may be actually downright frightening, some of which may be a unique blend of genres, but all united under the ‘Tales From the Crypt’ brand. Night is definitely going to direct, most likely the first one, and we’ll see how that evolves.”

The block will also feature short and long-form storytelling executive-produced by Shyamalan and his partner at Binding Edge Pictures, Ashwin Rajan. Reilly said TNT has “about four properties in the development pipeline to move through this.”

He said the “Tales from the Crypt” episodes will be an hour each. Additional series will be added in the coming months.

“This … horror block demonstrates not only TNT’s commitment to working with today’s top talents, but also our strategy to stand out in today’s marketplace by challenging the conventional rules of programming and scheduling,” Sarah Aubrey, TNT’s EVP of original programming, said in a statement.

Shyamalan, who is also an exec producer on the Fox mystery series “Wayward Pines,” which recently received a second season order, said in a statement that “to be part of such a beloved brand like ‘Tales from the Crypt,’ something I grew up watching, and to also have the chance to push the boundaries of genre television as a whole, is an inspiring opportunity that I can’t wait to dive into,” he said.

“Tales from the Crypt” aired for seven seasons on HBO starting in June 1989. Introduced by a skeletal “crypt keeper” puppet, the series’ late-night timeslot and its position on the dial allowed it to push the violence and sexuality envelopes. Reilly told journalists at TCA that he does have a crypt keeper in mind for his project, but “we’ll save that for a later announcement.”

In addition to Shyamalan and Rajan, James D. Stern is executive-producing “Tales from the Crypt” with his company Endgame Entertainment, along with Aloris Entertainment’s John Santilli and Dan McKinnon.

“I am delighted to reinvent this wonderful series through TNT and behind the brilliance of M. Night,” said Stern. “It was one of my favorite shows and I look forward to it reaching a whole new audience.”

TNT’s new horror block will premiere in fall 2016.

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  1. cody says:

    once again another remake. WTF no creativity left on this planet?

  2. jean murtagh says:

    I think TNT will go fine…History Channel goes “f” word and just TV MA etc…

  3. Lorraine Obrien says:

    When will tales of the cript premiere on tnt

  4. Kyle Klotz says:

    I absolutely loved tales from the crypt it was one of my favorite shows growing up, but if it’s tnt picking up the series I have no doubt an guarantee, would even place Vegas bets that this will be absolute garbage. Their editing an censoring they would force onto it alone, would be a tragedy to this series and would be NOTHING like the show we all Know and love. I have been waiting for more than half my life for this show to come back, then finally seeing a glimmer of hope with a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, only to find that all the light was, was a train speeding toward me to crush my hopes and dreams. Tnt, can’t you just stick to ruining an putting out bad original content and show some respect for a pioneer of its time and one of the top series in tv history and accept that your network is simply not right, appropriate or capable of remaking this show with the quality, content and finesse it so heartily deserves, it’s ok that you can’t there is no shame in that there is shame in turning a classic that millions have been waiting to make a come back into a pile of crap too foul for a dung beetle to use.

  5. Sylvia Painter says:

    It won’t be right if the show doesn’t start up the opening scene of the original. Any one under thirty years old won’t remember the Crypt Keeper. But fans like me will! I love the Crypt Keeper! Please include him.

    • Nick says:

      I’m 26 and I remember the opening! I’ll actually be pretty disappointed if they don’t keep that same opening. Something about the maneuvering through the house terrified me as a kid though! Although after re-watching it just now, I remembered it being a bit longer and more sped up, nonetheless a fantastic intro; so much nostalgia.

  6. Oh God, noooo! Another classic sentenced to death by greed and lack of creativity!

  7. HiHat says:

    Oh, man, the Cryptkeeper deserves a much better master than Schlemielian. I hope he gets one…

  8. Rex says:

    Interesting that Sarah Aubrey’s original comment claiming that Shyamalan’s “blockbuster hit ‘The Visit’ reminded movie audiences and critics this past summer that he truly is a master of horror” — which is still visible on the IMDB news feed that links to this page — has been deleted from the actual article. Did she or someone at Variety suddenly realize she was drinking some pretty potent Kool-Aid?

  9. Ced says:

    This should be interesting. M night seems to be on the comeback lately with the Visit & Wayward Pines,so I’m looking forward to this.

  10. Jake says:

    Wish it was coming back on HBO.

  11. Austin says:

    No thanks, I’ll just watch the original series.

  12. Bill B. says:

    This might work for him. He seems to be full of ideas that don’t play out well in a long form.

    • ajr says:

      That is true but Demon Knight was a fantastic Tales from the Crypt movie. I’d always hoped they make a sequel to that. My god, Billy Zane in that movie.

      • Rex says:

        BOTH Tales movies were pretty good, but Bill is still correct that Shyamalan — who had nothing to do with those features — has proven time and again that his ideas would make more sense as half-hour episodes of an anthology series. There’s no doubt he has talent, but he IS known as a one-trick pony, and that kind of thinking is better presented, and rewarded, on the small screen.

    • Edward says:

      That’s a good observation, Bill. And I personally think it’s true of a lot of horror. Part of the reason why I liked Tales from the Crypt so much is because I think horror works best in the form of anthologies of short tales, like those brief cautionary stories mankind has shared around campfires for centuries.

      • Moonenvious says:

        There were actually three tales from the crypt movies. There was Demon Knight ( my favorite), Bordello of Blood, and Ritual.

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