R.L. Stine's Fear Street Movie Finds a Writer

R.L. Stine Fear Street novel

For an entire generation, R.L. Stine offered children their first taste of horror. Millions around the world grew up reading his Goosebumps series, which sold hundreds of millions of copies and solidified its place in the pop cultural lexicon thanks to a TV series and a Jack Black (School of Rock) led movie adaptation from 2015. Goosebumps fans have more to look forward to with Goosebumps 2 which is slated to hit theaters in September 2018. Still, Goosebumps isn’t for everyone and some audiences are looking for more than the family friendly horror provided there.

Thankfully, Stine has you covered. Before he began publishing his younger-audience-aimed Goosebumps series, Stine was already well-known for his Fear Street tales. Much like his latter books, Fear Street offered readers spine-tingling tales of thrills and excitement. Aimed for an older, teenage audience, the 100 plus books in the series were more violent and intense than Goosebumps. Still, Fear Street has long lived in the shadow of its younger sibling, with most readers more familiar with Night of the Living Dummy than, say, The Cheerleaders saga. Now, it seems, Fear Street is finally about to get its due.

The Tracking Board is reporting that 20th Century Fox has tapped writer Kyle Killen (The Beaver) to handle the script for their upcoming movie adaptation of Fear Street. No word yet on which book(s) in the series might be up for consideration in the adaptation, but chances are the movie will be a bit more straight forward than the Goosebumps film.

The relatively tame stories offered by Goosebumps made for a perfect meta-story in the 2015 film and its upcoming sequel. With no real connective tissue between those books, it was easier to view that series as more of a sandbox to play around in, and the result was an original story that featured all of your favorite monsters from an entirely different angle. Fear Street, however, is another beast entirely.

Goosebumps - Jack Black as R.L. Stine
Jack Black as R.L. Stine in Goosebumps (2015)

Fear Street takes place in the fictional town of Shadyside, Ohio, with a rotating cast of high school-aged kids. While all stories are largely independent, each add to a large mythos regarding a cursed street in a cursed town. While there are elements of the supernatural in many of the stories in the Fear Street books, much of the series focused on human-committed murder with books playing out more like mystery thrillers than typical horror.

As such, we shouldn’t expect Fear Street to play to the same kind of humorous crowd as Goosebumps. As the name implies, Fear Street was scarier than Stine’s more well-known series, and focused on more mature themes and situations. With so many books to choose from, Killen certainly has a lot of material to work with as he crafts his screenplay, and it’s certainly possible that he’ll simply craft an original story that features some of the familiar faces and places known to readers of the novels.

Whether or not Fear Street is as successful as Goosebumps is hard to say. While the series was popular in its day, many of the original readers are well into adulthood now, and it’s hard to know if they’ll be interested in revisiting the horror of their youths. However, Stine revived the long-dormant series in 2014, introducing a new generation to the twisted happenings of Shadyside, which may benefit the film as it hits theaters.

Still, it’s nice to see Fear Street getting the recognition it deserves. For a lot of readers, it was a stepping stone to the worlds of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Peter Straub, setting the foundation for horror appreciation that lives to this day. Done right, Fear Street could inspire a whole new base of fans to explore their darker sides and embrace their fears. Killen is an inventive writer and thus may bring the creative spirit that Fear Street needs.

As of now, there's now release date for Fear Street, but we’ll keep you posted on any news as it develops.

Source: The Tracking Board

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