Kids of the 90s,rejoice! The beloved horror story series Goosebumps is awakening from the dead and walking into theaters next summer.
News released at this year’s Comic-Con has unveiled details on the project produced by Deborah Forte and Neal H. Moritz, and directed by Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens). The film will center on a teen named Zach Cooper, played by Dylan Minnette (Prisoners), who is forced to leave his life in the city and move to a small town. After becoming intrigued by his next door neighbor Hannah, played by Odeya Rush (The Giver), he learns that her father is none other than R.L. Stine himself (Jack Black), the notorious name behind the Goosebumps series. When the creepy characters leave the pages of their books and come to life, the three must join forces in order to save their town from the frightful monsters of Stine’s imagination.
The project was being discussed as early as 2008, with the official screenplay ultiamtely penned by Darren Lemke (Jack The Giant Slayer) and Mike White (School of Rock), from a story by Lemke, Scott Alexander, and Larry Karaszewski. It’s important to note that the film won’t focus on any one character from the books, but rather will bring the famous characters together in a way that celebrates the series as a whole. In an interview at Comic-Con, Black discusses why he was drawn to the project, making the distinction between the adventure film that Letterman has created and less kid-friendly horror films of today. Said Black, “We wanted to make a kick-ass movie that won’t damage our children…but would still,you know, be fun for us to see too.”
The original series debuted in 1992 with Welcome to Dead House, and was followed by other unforgettable titles like Say Cheese and Die!, Night of the Living Dummy, and It Came From Beneath the Sink! Who can forget the cartoonish illustrations on the covers featuring uncanny creatures almost comedically placed into the midst of carnivals, summer camps, basements, and other suburban landscapes. It seems that Letterman appreciates this element of frightful fun, and wants to create that atmosphere in this adaptation: “It’s fun. It’s scary. There’s a lot of action…amazing action-adventure set pieces, but the best part about it, and my favorite part, is that it’s grounded.”
Hopefully this new version of the classic series can do for kids today what it did for its original readers and make fright more fun and horror less horrifying.