Your next stop: the “Twilight Zone.” Now you choose what happens next.
The iconic science-fiction TV series is being resurrected with a new dimension, as digital video company Interlude has secured a deal with CBS to turn the series into a project marrying television with gaming.
Interlude is known for making videos that play like sophisticated choose-your-own-adventure films. The company’s tech first rose to popular prominence more than two years ago with a video revival of Bob Dylan‘s classic anthem “Like a Rolling Stone.” It allowed viewers to channel surf among 16 channels of different actors and reality-TV stars, all lip-syncing along with Dylan’s song.
The company has widened its scope since then, using its technology to help filmmakers, music artists and brands craft interactive online videos.
For the coming “Twilight Zone” revival, Interlude and CBS were vague about the shape it would take, defining it as an “original interactive project” that will let viewers “step in and become a part of the story.” Like many of the start-up’s past creations, it is sure to sew together live-action storytelling with opportunities for the viewer to choose the direction of the narrative.
Another clue: Ken Levine, esteemed in gaming circles as the creator of “BioShock,” will write and direct the pilot episode.
The new “Twilight Zone” will honor the original series’ approach but will add the twist of letting the viewer “change and adapt the story based on what he or she feels,” the companies said. “As with all other Interlude videos, viewers can return repeatedly and have a different viewing experience each time.”
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. CBS holds the rights to “Twilight Zone.”
Episodic content is new for Interlude. It is also developing a series based on the 1983 film “WarGames,” part of partnership with studio MGM, which is also an investor in the start-up. That series plays out almost like a game based on the premise of the film, in which a hacker played by Matthew Broderick believes he’s playing a video game but unwittingly runs Cold War simulations on a military supercomputer. New levels play out as new episodes, with the viewer able to make choices for the protagonist that change the dynamic of the story.