Horror icon M. Night Shyamalan is executive producing a new version of the horror anthology Tales From the Crypt, and he'll be getting his stories from the spookiest place of all—the Internet.
A partnership between Turner Broadcasting and the online fiction site Wattpad was announced on Monday. As a part of the deal, Shyamalan's new TNT series will solicit story ideas from Wattpad's users. The venture is the first big move from the company's new Wattpad Studios division, which was announced in April.
“Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks,” said Justin Williams, senior vice president of digital ventures for TNT and TBS.
The network will use the Wattpad community's stories not only for potential scripts, but also to help determine which themes and subgenres are popular among horror fans.
"We know how much reading time is going between werewolves and vampires, so I can tell you that werewolves are more popular than vampires in the last six months," Wattpad Studios head Aron Levitz told Complex. "We can look at the data and see what genres of horror are trending right now. Is it slasher horror? Is it creature horror? That's where our data goes to work, to really pull out those amazing insights."
Wattpad users whose stories end up on TV will be compensated, though it's unclear how much they'll receive. Wattpad Studios head Aron Levitz told the Wall Street Journal that users "will take part financially" if their stories are chosen but did not offer specifics.
Tales From the Crypt will be a 10-episode series based on the EC Comics series of the same name from the 1950s. There was a previous television adaption of the comic that ran on HBO from 1989 to 1996. That version is best remembered for its iconic host the Crypt Keeper. This upcoming version, scheduled to air in 2017, will feature what Shyamalan calls a "newly reinvented" Crypt Keeper.