Quibi has tapped Steven Spielberg to write a new horror series… with a twist.
Word comes by way of the Banff World Media Festival, where Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg (h/t Variety) announced that Spielberg’s “super scary story” can only be watched at night. Where do we sign up?
The seasoned film director is already making progress on the series, having penned “five or six episodes” out of a 12-chapter saga. In order to honor Spielberg’s request and ensure that this untitled horror show can only be watched at night, Quibi developers have created a situation in which a clock appears on the user’s phone, ticking down until the sun sets in that particular timezone. When it reaches zero, you’ll have a finite window to enjoy Spielberg’s latest, before the show disappears until the next night.
It’s a novel concept befitting of Quibi (short for “quick bites”), and we’re intrigued to learn more once the service begins its rollout in April 2020.
Meanwhile, here’s Katzenberg recalling Spielberg’s lightbulb moment:
Steven Spielberg came in, and said, ‘I have a super scary story I want to do.’ He’s writing it himself. He hasn’t [written anything in a while] so getting him to write something is fantastic.
At the moment, this horror-themed project is being developed under the title Spielberg’s After Dark, and should not be confused with the filmmaker’s other project, Amazing Stories, which has already found a home at Apple TV Plus.
What Quibi is doing, it’s not really short form. We’re putting those sciences together. Chapters or act breaks that are 7 to 10 minutes long. They are specifically shot to be watched on the go. If you’re 25-35 years old, you get up and you’re on [a smartphone] for over five hours.
For all of his comments about Netflix and the platform’s Oscar credentials – or lack thereof – Steven Spielberg has seemingly doubled down on digital TV content. Whether he believes his After Dark series to be worthy of an Academy Award is another question entirely…