Early last year, it was announced that director M. Night Shyamalan would be rebooting the classic horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt as part of a larger deal with TNT. However, before the project could truly gain traction, it hit a roadblock due to rights issues over the property, causing production to stall indefinitely. And while there haven’t been any significant updates on the status of the series in a number of months, new comments made by TBS and TNT entertainment president and Turner chief creative officer Kevin Reilly could signal hope for fans as they continue to patiently wait behind a mountain of red tape.
Speaking with Deadline, Reilly explained that — although the complexity of the ongoing litigation is daunting — the network hasn’t completely given up on picking up where it left off, should it come to an eventual resolution.
“It’s been fun with lawyers, it’s been really fun,” Reilly said. “We did not know from the get-go or else we would not have announced it and made a big deal out of it. But in fact there were rights. It is among the most — if not the most — complicated rights structure I’ve ever seen in my career, and we had no idea as we got into it. It became a nightmare. So we said, ‘Fine.’ If and when this gets cleaned up, we’ll revisit.”
Tales form the Crypt began as a horror comic published by Entertaining Comics, better know as EC Comics, that ran from 1950-1955. Most issues featured two or three short tales, with a host-of-sorts, The Crypt Keeper, serving as a connector between the multiple spooky narratives.
According to Reilly, a large part of the struggle stems from the fact that the original comic book was sold to a number of different producers and creators, meaning there are several parties that can lay claim to the rights of the intellectual property. “The underlying rights to this classic, vintage property are complicated,” TNT said in a statement last December. “TNT and others have been pursuing a solution for more than a year, with significant progress being made. We look forward to the potential for further active development of this valuable franchise once the clearance process is fully resolved.”
The Shyamalan-helmed series was scheduled for a run of ten episodes, starting in 2017, as part of block of horror programming on TNT. At this time, there’s no word on if or when it will eventually air.
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