R.L. Stine alerted his Twitter followers yesterday that, beginning next Monday shooting will finally begin on the Goosebumps feature film. The author of the popular spooky young adult novels is excited, of course, because Jack Black is literally playing Stine in this Columbia Pictures production.
Rob Letterman is directing and Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush co-star. It's not entirely clear who will be receiving writing credit when the movie ultimately comes out on March 23, 2016 but we know that Jack the Giant Slayer's Darren Lemke, Ed Wood's Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander and The Last House on the Left's Carl Ellsworth all took a turn at the script.
The story? A young girl moves to a small town with her family, discovers Stine is her neighbor and then – through some supernatural incident – the figments of Stine's imagination are made flesh and blood.
In a strange sort of way…I'm excited for this film. "Strange" because I never got into the "Goosebumps" series. They came out when I was a bit too old for them. But, when I was a camp counselor, I knew kids that were big fans and I thought what Stine was crafting something that was a terrific "gateway horror" brand. Those covers were fascinating and macabre and the titles of the books were amusingly on-the-nose. "Goosebumps," to me at least, was always Tales from the Crypt-lite. And now, fans of the series are getting their feature film just as Tales from the Crypt or Tales from the Darkside fans did.
And that plot for the Goosebumps film feels appropriate for the brand. It's not leaning toward any particular, previously-told story. It's celebrating Stine and all of his creations. And maybe, just maybe, it will carry with it a deranged Amblin vibe. We could use a fun horror film – whether it's for adults or a younger crowd – like that.
I'm into the fact that Karaszewski and Alexander contributed to the script, but not the biggest fan of Letterman (Gulliver's Travels). He did do Monsters vs. Aliens, which was merely okay and had its heart in the right place. Perhaps he'll knock this one out of the park? Regardless, every time I see an update about this film, I'm definitely eager to know more.