It was the source of many of childhood nightmares. In a time before one graduated to the works of Clive Barker or Stephen King, the first name in horror was R.L. Stine. As the author of the popular Goosebumps series, Stine was the first to introduce many to the world of horror; planting seeds that often lasted into adulthood.
Goosebumps made a fair mark on the cinematic world last fall, when the critically well-received movie adaptation of the series hit theaters. The meta-romp starred Jack Black as Stine, weaving a tale that suggested the author’s work was part of an ongoing battle against evil by trapping the various ghouls and baddies of his Goosebumps books inside an array of mystical manuscripts. It was a high-concept take on the series that brought many elements (and characters) from across the series into one crazy tale. Though the film was only a modest success at the box office, earning only $156 million worldwide, Sony’s faith in the property was apparent when plans were made for sequel development before the movie was even released. Now, those plans are starting to come together.
THR reports that Goosebumps 2 is set to reteam director Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens) and writer Darren Lemke (Turbo), the men responsible for the first Goosebumps movie. The project is still in early development, so details so far are scarce. Sony, however, reportedly wants Black to reprise his role as Stine’s fictional counterpart, which is good news for fans of the direction the first film took.
Adapting the Goosebumps series into a motion picture was a process long stuck in development hell. The series of books, as you may remember, were unconnected for the most part, with Stine using the Goosebumps brand to sell kid-friendly horror stories. Creating a universe where these stories are connected proved difficult, but Lemke’s decision to turn the anthology into the basis for a larger story proved to be the impetus for a successful adaptation.
While Black’s involvement is unconfirmed at the moment, Lemke and Letterman’s involvement bodes well for the movie, and for the franchise as a whole. Despite the sheer number of monsters from the Goosebumps series that made an appearance in the original movie, Stine’s massive collection of horror tales leaves plenty of as-yet-unseen baddies to populate the sequel. Given the modest success of the first film, Black’s involvement feels pretty certain at this point, though that might change as the project develops. His performance was one of the best parts of the first film, where he managed to take a real-life person and transform him into a character worthy of the Goosebumps name. That, more than anything, is what made the movie as successful as it was, along with telling a (mostly) original story using elements familiar to longtime readers and fans.
Provided Black continues to be involved with the project, the Goosebumps sequel could prove to be another success for Sony, in addition to being another fun throwback for adult fans now introducing their children into Stine’s world. We hope they’re able to scare up some more fun tales, and continue introducing a new generation to the wonderful world of horror.
Screen Rant will keep you posted on any Goosebumps 2 news as it develops.