Jessica Williams Is Joining The 'Twilight Zone' Reboot For A Star-Studded Episode
In news that's not from another dimension, Jessica Williams has been cast in The Twilight Zone reboot from Jordan Peele, and fans are already spinning with excitement. Announcing that Williams had "just crossed over into @TheTwilightZone," CBS TV Studios confirmed in a Jan. 14 tweet that the the 2 Dope Queens comedian's episode of the Twilight Zone reboot will debut on CBS All Access later this year, though no specific date was given. Responding to the casting announcement (and a warm welcome from Peele's Monkeypaw Productions), Williams tweeted her appreciation: "Thank you. It's truly an honor."
The actor first won over fans with her beloved correspondent segments on Comedy Central's The Daily Show from 2012-2016 before taking on acting roles in TV shows like HBO's Girls and in films such as 2017's The Incredible Jessica James and last year's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. For her, it's all been about representation.
"What I want to add is a new way for people to see women and a new way for people to see Black women," Williams previously told Bustle. "Multiple versions of Black women are allowed to exist, and multiple versions of funny Black women are allowed to exist."
Per the official Twitter account of Peele's company, other recently announced Twilight Zone cast addition DeWanda Wise (who's currently starring in Netflix's adaptation of Spike Lee's She’s Gotta Have It) will join Williams, along with actors Lucinda Dryzek, Jefferson White and Jonathan Whitesell, for this particular episode. According to Deadline, additional previously announced members of The Twilight Zone reboot's star-studded cast include: John Cho, Greg Kinnear, Sanaa Lathan, Kumail Nanjiani, Adam Scott, Allison Tolman, Jacob Tremblay, and Steven Yeun.
For his part, Oscar-winner Peele, the creative mind behind films like Get Out and his upcoming thriller Us, will serve as host and narrator for the updated version of the Rod Serling sci-fi classic. He's admitted, however, he had some trepidation in doing so.
"I was terrified,” Peele confessed to Variety last year. "Why would I ever jump into the most established, pristine shoes in all of the genre? I could rip 'Twilight Zone' off and call it something different and not be compared to Rod Serling. So I stepped away from it. And then several months later I got another call."
Screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg was on the other end of the line, and after some back-and-forth discussions about how they could collaborate to do the iconic series justice, Peele was on board. As the Key & Peele alum added to Variety:
"The realization, for me, was that it was an opportunity to attempt to continue with Serling’s mission. If we approach it without ego and sort of bow to Serling, that will hopefully suffice for our fellow Twilight Zone fans but also bring back a show that I think is needed right now. Because it’s a show that has always helped us look at ourselves, hold a mirror up to society."
While almost everything about the reboot of The Twilight Zone (rightfully) remains a mystery, fans can rest assured that Peele will weave a compelling narrative to capture their interests when Williams' episode premieres later this year.