Steven Spielberg is writing a “creepy” and “super scary” horror series for Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s forthcoming digital platform, Deadline has learned. According to Katzenberg “Steven Spielberg came in, and said, I have a super scary story I want to do.” Katzenberg also said “Steven Spielberg has a super scary story. He’s actually writing it himself. Getting him to write something is fantastic.”
However, Spielberg has requested that viewers will only be able to watch his Spielberg After Dark series after midnight. Since smartphones can keep track of the current zone, Katzenberg and Whitman have asked their engineers to find a way to allow viewers the show only at night. Therefore, a clock will appear on cellphones, ticking down until the sun sets in whichever time zone the user is in. Then the clock will start ticking again when the sun rises — and the show will not play until the following night, Variety has reported.
Quibi’s goal is to spark “a third generation of film narrative,” following TV and movies. According to Katzenberg, it is not short form: “What Quibi is doing, it’s not really short form,” Katzenberg said. “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.”
At first Quibi will offer a two-week free trial period, and have eight “super premium” productions ready to view. After that, for the first year there will be another 26 “lighthouse” or “signature projects” productions that will roll out, every other Monday, Variety has learned. The digital platform will also offer “a great assortment of alternative programming, non-scripted,” as well as a “Daily Essentials” news product.
Other talents that will produce for Quibi or star in one of its projects include Steven Soderbergh, Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi, Catherine Hardwick, Antoine Fuqua, Anna Kendrick, Doug Liman, and Laurence Fishburne.
“Those people who are the most skilled and talented in the TV industry today are going to be the ones who make Quibi a success,” Katzenberg said. “If we’re right this becomes a growth for the entire industry… If we are successful, we will have brought on this third generation of film narrative,” he added.
Quibi is set to launch on April 6, 2020.