William Shatner Mourns ‘Twilight Zone’ Director Richard Donner – The Hollywood Reporter


It came as a bit of a shock to some to learn that Richard Donner directed arguably the most well-known Twilight Zone episode of all time, which just so happened to star William Shatner.

Donner died on Monday at the age of 91. The legendary Superman and Lethal Weapon director was mourned in and around Hollywood for his massive contributions to cinema.

A Twitter user pointed out that it was actually Donner who was behind the camera for “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” or the “There’s something on the wing!” episode of The Twilight Zone.

Shatner saw the Twitter note and responded, “I am sorry to learn of his passing. He was a wonderful director. I don’t really have many memories of the shoot. It was chaotic; it was supposed to be a 4-day shoot & they cut it in half. They kept us there all night on the 2nd day to finish it. We were all sleep-deprived.”

“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” originally aired on Oct. 11, 1963, starring Shatner as Robert Wilson who is terrorized by a gremlin on the wing of his flight — or is he just crazy?

The story is one of the most popular of the classic anthology series and several TV shows and films have paid homage to the moment. One of most beloved was on 3rd Rock from the Sun when Shatner guest-starred and says there was something on the wing of his flight. John Lithgow’s Dick Solomon responds that the same thing happened to him, a joke on the fact that Lithgow played a similar character in 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie.





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