It's (finally) official: Jack Black will return as Goosebumps author R.L. Stine in next month's sequel, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Black starred as a fictional version of Stine in Sony's first Goosebumps movie, which was released in theaters back in 2015. The concept for the franchise is that Stine must write down all the zany monsters and spooky creatures that he imagines for the Goosebumps books and keep them locked away in his original manuscripts, lest they escape to wreak havoc on the real-world.
Early on, it was reported that Black would reprise his role as the fictionalized Stine for the Goosebumps movie sequel, with director Rob Letterman and writer Darren Lemke also returning. However, as the film kept being pushed back and Letterman and Lemke moved on to other projects, Black's involvement became less and less of a certainty. There was no mention of Black when Goosebumps 2 began filming in March either (then, until a different title), which seemed to be the final nail in that coffin.
Now, with just a few weeks left until the film hits theaters, Sony has released a Goosebumps 2 TV spot that features an appearance by Black in the flesh as Stine. See the proof for yourselves in the space below.
In addition to playing Stine, Black lent his voice to the evil Slappy the ventriloquist dummy in the original Goosebumps movie. The latter served as something of a foil to Stine in the film and represented his darker side, manifested as a (literal) living dummy. That clearly won't be the case with the sequel, seeing as Slappy's real-life puppeteer Avery Lee Jones is voicing the character this time around. That change, coupled with Stine being referenced by name only in the previous Goosebumps 2 trailers, led to the confusion about whether Black would be involved in the sequel at all.
To be fair, Goosebumps 2 was clearly designed to take Black's reduced role into account. The sequel takes place in a small town (Wardenclyffe) that Stine used to live in, but left several years before the film picks up. Thus, it makes sense that he wouldn't enter the picture to help the movie's new heroes until after Slappy and his fellow Goosebumps creations have been accidentally unleashed on the world yet again. This also means that Black's role in the sequel will probably amount to little more than a glorified cameo, like this TV spot implies.
Still, a Black cameo in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is better than no Black at all. In the meantime, anyone who wants to see the actor starring in a kid-friendly horror movie can head out now and watch Eli Roth's The House with a Clock in Its Walls on the big screen.
Source: Sony Picture Entertainment
- Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 12, 2018