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Richard Matheson's "Death Ship" Comes In

He's been publishing fiction and writing screenplays for over 50 years, and his imaginative visions continue to have a rare hold over admirers of the fantastic. The IMDb shows four projects announced or in production that are based on Richard Matheson's work, and The Hollywood Reporter has just added another to the roster: his short story "Death Ship" is to be filmed as "Countdown" under a partnership between Summit Entertainment and Mandalay Pictures.

Matheson is every bit as gifted a short story writer as he is a novelist and screenwriter, and "Death Ship" is particularly riveting--not to mention scary. Originally published in "Fantastic Story Magazine" in 1953, the story was made into one of the most memorable of the extended-length "Twilight Zone" episodes 10 years later.

Marc Scott Zicree, in his indispensible "The Twilight Zone Companion," makes a convincing case that Matheson's expanded script for the "Twilight Zone" episode managed to be, in some ways, an improvement over the original story, which Matheson has said is one of his few truly science fiction tales. Let's hope the screenwriters for the new film version (there have already been four of them named) are able to dock this craft without incident.--Pete Mesling

Posted by Pete on October 25, 2005 11:03 PM
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