The protagonist is fleeing monsters and encounters two doors – should they go right or left? Sure, you might find yourself in such a predicament while playing a computer/video game like Amnesia, but generally you won’t be presented with such an option while perusing a novel that was published before the 21st century – unless you’re reading an installment in the Choose Your Own Adventure series, that is.
Choose Your Own Adventure is a kids’ literature franchise that began in 1976, before it sold millions of copies in the 1980s (with books in various genres) and established what is now known as the gamebook format. Each novel unfolds from a second-person POV and lets the reader to decide what the main character should do next, when presented with a set of possible options; keep choosing right and you eventually get a happy ending, while making too many wrong choices inevitably leads to… well, a not-so-happy outcome.
THR is reporting that Rawson Marshall Thurber – the director of Vince Vaughn sports comedy Underdog and last year’s raunchy hit We’re the Millers – has been set to direct the Choose Your Own Adventure movie adaptation for 20th Century Fox. Other behind the scenes personnel working on the project so far include John Davis and John Fox (The Blacklist) as producers, in addition to Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (the Night at the Museum franchise) on screenwriting duties.
Garant and Lennon, like Thurber, have a background in comedy fare intended for adults – they co-created the Reno 911! comedy TV Series with Kerri Kenney – but chances are they’ll be called upon to put their family-friendly storytelling talents to use, seeing how a Choose Your Own Adventure movie is a ripe opportunity to usher in a new multi-platform aimed at a younger crowd – while banking on the nostalgia factor with adults who grew up on the original novel property, that is.
There’s plenty of material for the filmmakers to draw inspiration from, but there’s also a reasonable chance that the Choose Your Own Adventure screenplay will take an approach similar to that for Sony’s upcoming Goosebumps movie. In that kids’ book adaptation, Jack Black is slated to play an author whose scary creations come to life and terrify him in the real world; Garant and Lennon’s Night at the Museum script work seems like the obvious template which they might use for a fairly-similar take on the CYOA series. We’ll see, of course.
Expect to learn more about the Choose Your Own Adventure movie over the year ahead.