The sequel to the family-friendly horror hit Goosebumps has had another title change, as Sony confirms its final name will be Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween. The film has had an eventful production, with apparent changes in plot direction and rumors around the involvement (or not) of Jack Black. But details given at CinemaCon suggest that everything is in place for its planned release in October.
The first Goosebumps movie was a natural extension of author R.L. Stine's beloved horror series for young adults. But rather than mine any one story for it's potential, Sony made the clever choice to incorporate a new narrative which acted as a 'greatest hits' mash-up and saw many of the writer's best creations on the big screen, which included Slappy the Dummy. The plot saw a fictional version of Stine combat the monsters released magically from his books, and was played winningly by Black (who also voiced Slappy). After its release in 2015, the film went on to make over $150m worldwide from a budget of $58m, so a sequel was always on the cards.
However, during its production the film has undergone several name changes and had it's release date pushed back. Up until very recently it was thought to be called Goosebumps: Slappy Halloween. But at CinemaCon 2018, the annual convention where the distributors showcase their upcoming movies, Sony presented the final details for the sequel. According to Deadline the title is now officially Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween, which replaces all previous titles and promotions for the film. The release date still stands at Oct. 12, 2018 and is expected to have a good opening.
It marks the end for a lot of changes to Goosebumps 2. The previous title leaked directly from a tweet sent by Stine himself, but before that it was previously known as Goosebumps: Horrorland, which suggested it was set in the dreaded amusement park. Then it became Slappy's Revenge, which left the identity of the lead villain as no secret, before Stine gave away the Halloween title. The return of Black as Stine was never assured and unless he appears in a secret and uncredited cameo, he won't be in the sequel. According to sources at Sony, he doesn't even voice Slappy this time around, as that is reportedly the vocals of puppeteer Avery Jones.
Whilst it remains to be seen how the apparent absence of Black might affect the film, a strong group of actors are playing all-new characters are in the sequel. This includes Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell, & Wendi McLendon-Covey, as well as Jumanji’s Madison Iseman. Peyton Wich from Stranger Things also recently joined the film. The plot is said to be based around the efforts of Slappy to bring forth the Apocalypse, and somehow involves Nikola Tesla in his nefarious scheme. Directed by Ari Sandel, Sony hopes this film will be another lucrative foray into the franchise for them and provide some scares and thrills for all generations. More updates on Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween as we get them.
- Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 12, 2018