‘Goosebumps’ Begins Filming; Official Synopsis and Cast Revealed

Published 12 months ago by , Updated April 29th, 2014 at 12:15 pm,

Goosebumps Ghost Beach Goosebumps Begins Filming; Official Synopsis and Cast Revealed

For kids who grew up in the 1990s, reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and watching the TV show based on them was practically mandatory. Coming up with scary stories that are suitable for young children is no mean feat, but Stine managed to pull it off many times over, and for young horror fans whose parents refused to allow R-rated horror movies in the house, Goosebumps was a worthy substitute.

The announcement several years ago that a Goosebumps movie was in the works was therefore pretty exciting news. The reveal that it would be directed by Rob Letterman, whose previous credits include Shark Tale and Gulliver’s Travels, was somewhat less so.

Starring Jack Black as R.L. Stine himself, Goosebumps has now begun principal photography in and around Conyers, Madison, and Atlanta, Georgia, and is set for release in spring 2016. Sony has also released an official synopsis for the movie, which stars Dylan Minette (Prisoners) as Zach Cooper, a teenager who is upset about moving from the big city to a small town. Luckily there’s a beautiful girl next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush), whose father is a famous but reclusive author of children’s horror novels.

Stine’s eccentric behavior is explained by the fact that the writer is actually a prisoner of his own imagination. His stories have come to life and the only way to keep his monsters from attacking everyone is to lock them up in books. Zach, of course, manages to accidentally set them free and he, Hannah and Stine set out to recapture the fictional creatures before they can do too much harm. The final draft of the screenplay was penned by Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer) and Mike White (School of Rock).

goosebumps Goosebumps Begins Filming; Official Synopsis and Cast Revealed

At first glance, the set-up sounds horribly clichéd – just once, for example, it would be nice for a movie to kick off with a teenager moving to a different town and not sulking about it. The odds on there being a scene showing Zach being picked on by bullies on his first day of school are very high. As to the rest of the plot, it sounds like a vague mish-mash of elements from Jumanji, Night at the Museum, Hocus Pocus, Casper and a dozen or more other fantasy-horror movies aimed at younger audiences.

It’s a shame, considering how many original stories Stine managed to concoct for the extremely large library of Goosebumps books. It might have been better – particularly if Sony has a franchise in mind – to directly adapt some of the better and more fondly-remembered stories from the series. A big-budget adaptation of “Monster Blood”, “Don’t Go to Sleep”, “The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight” or “Night of the Living Dummy” would probably work better than a movie that fit them all in at once.

Perhaps Goosebumps will surprise us all, but for a guaranteed thrill (not to mention a nostalgia buzz) you might be better off sticking with the TV series, which is currently available to watch on Netflix.


Goosebumps is set for release on March 23, 2016.

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Goosebumps
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  1. I could not agree more. I not normally one to poo-poo prior to seeing something. But this feels all wrong. I’d LOVE to see an adaptation of one of the more popular titles and for that to kickoff a shared universe of other titles creating a giant franchise. Would be so cool. If they can come out with a new paranormal activity every year they can surely do a solid goosebumps movie every couple years. Would be a great thing. That all said, maybe this movie could still kick off the other stories. Maybe we find that more monsters got out and they are spreading, enter goosebumbs universe.

  2. hmm its a shame i was kinda lookin forward to this loved the books as a kid, but you’re probably right would be better if they did standalone stories as movies

  3. ‘Jack Black as R.L.Stine.’

    (I was going to go off on a rant, but I see no point now. Does anything really need to be said?)

  4. Yeah, they turned it into a generic thing instead of a potentially cool “horror for kids” anthology of movies.

    Have to note, you put the release date as March 23, 2014.

    (Speaking of release dates, how about Marvel UK announcing that Avengers: Age Of Ultron will release in the UK on April 24, 2015….several weeks ahead of US release)

  5. Think about the “elevator” scene in Cabin in the Woods and this has potential. Why have one of Stine’s monsters when you can have a bunch.

    Of course teenagers are going to sulk if they move to a new town. Geez, as I kid, I never moved however I can imagine that it would be horrible. I would say that is no more cliché than bleeding when your cut. It’s human, I wouldn’t get to bent out of shape about humans being written as humans.

    The Goosebumps books could BARELY carry a 20 minute t.v. show, this is probably the right decision. Love my nostalgia.

    • *you’re

  6. This is being penned by one of the School of Rock writers, and JTGS writer. This could either be really cool, or really bad. I mean… Gulliver’s Travels was… meh. and JTJS was horrible.

  7. jackblack??? sounds more funny than scary.

    • well maybe i should have said attempt at being funny lmao… i think tropical thunder was jacks last good movie.

      • Actually, this sounds like a good place for Jack to pull both being funny and serious, and Jack has the potential to be a serious actor. If you can, I recommend watching the movie Bernie to see how he pulls in being serious.

        • Yep, I also recommend Bernie. Brilliant film. I recommended it to my sister last year and she loved it too.

  8. It’s not too late to stop this guys. Please?

  9. Ugh this is sad. So many great stories they could pull from. The only plus I see in this article is that one of the school of rock directors is in on it.

    • Writer, not director.

  10. You certainly have your opinions Hannah, i’ll give you that. Haha :)

  11. The goosebumps tv show was joke, I was an ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ child myself.

  12. you guys were expecting better?

  13. They lost me at ‘Starring Jack Black’.

  14. Its obviously not supposed to be a super serious movie. I think it will be good, stop hating, why cant it be funny and scary?

  15. this really helped thanks