Friday, April 12, 2019

WonderCon 2019: Twilight Zone and NOS4A2

* Reimagining The Twilight Zone for a Modern Audience

I arrived to this panel a little late. It had the longest line of any panel I saw and I got in about 15 minutes late. (Small side note that many more people would have fit into the room if people would have sat in all chairs instead of putting bags and stuff there instead.) Anyway, the series producers (minus Jordan Peele) talked about the show moderated by Ginnifer Goodwin, who stars in one of the episodes. They claimed that none of the episodes are remakes of old episodes, despite some similarity in episode name. Each episode has its own musical language and can be deceptive in what it's influencing the viewers to feel. The show takes place in the modern day with stylistic nods to the original. They spoke at length about Rod Stirling and how he created the show to talk about social issues that he wasn't allowed to portray plainly in drama shows. The writers came up with the sci-fi concept first and then talked about the deeper concepts that would work within that. I missed the footage from the show, but I'm excited to see what's in store with the Twilight Zone.

* NOS4A2

NOS4A2 is going to be airing on AMC on June 2 and is based on Joe Hill's chilling novel of the same name. The two main stars are Zachary Quinto as the villain Charles Manx and Ashleigh Cummings as Vic McQueen, a girl with mysterious powers.

Before the panel, the entire first episode was played. I am impressed. There are few drastic changes, like starting Vic as a teen (played by an adult) and accelerating the discovery and effect of her powers. Her home and life are established. As she enters her senior year of high school, she struggles with her financial situation and her dream to go to art school. I especially loved the portrayal of her parents. Her father seems to be support and affable, but is revealed to be a wife beating alcoholic who drops his family in favor of a hot young woman. Her mother seems to be negative and unsupportive, but she's being realistic about how the world treats people like them and doesn't want Vic to dream about things she can't have. Charlie Manx and his MO are shown, as well as the parallel transformation of Manx from ancient to young and a child from human to soulless monster. It's a promising first episode that captures the same scenes in the books well.

The showrunner, Jami O'Brien, stated that the book itself would probably take about 3 seasons to cover and hopes to continue past the book. Joe Hill was hilarious talking about his famous father, their collaborations together, and easter eggs in the first episode. He didn't seem to have much control or say in what goes on in the show, but he was very complimentary about their work. Jahkara Smith talked about learning a lot on set as a first time actress. I loved her in the first episode and I can't wait for Maggie and Vic to meet. The show looks pretty amazing. I'm a little concerned that the horror elements will be pulled back to appeal to a wider audience, but we'll see. I will definitely be watching on June 2. 

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