Guillermo del Toro's Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark has cast Zoe Colletti in the lead role, as fresh plot details also emerge. Scary Stories was originally released as a trilogy of books in the '80s and '90s, written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The stories contained within each volume drew from a variety of myths, legends and folktales and featured twists on standards such as The Hookman and the 'killer in the backseat of your car' trope. Each of the three books contained over twenty tales each and the series would go on to attract a legion of fans, both for the writing and for Gammell's disturbingly imaginative artwork.
One such fan was filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, perhaps best known for his work on Pacific Rim, Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth. CBS Films originally acquired the rights to adapt Scary Stories for the big screen back in 2013 but it wasn't until 3 years later that del Toro was announced as producer and he has since also been confirmed as co-writing the script. Del Toro is, however, not going to be directing the feature, with that particular duty being handled by André Øvredal. CBS has revealed precious little about how they intend to adapt a series of short stories into one film and have only officially said that Scary Stories would involve a group of teens investigating a spate of murders in their town.
According to Collider, however, Scary Stories is finally starting to come together and has cast Zoe Colletti (Wildlife, Annie) as the film's lead, Stella Michaels - a young girl whose mother mysteriously disappeared one Halloween. The report also reveals more Scary Stories plot details, claiming that the film will see Stella and her friends tangle with a nasty spirit, also on Halloween, with the ghost using scary folklore tales to haunt the youngsters, allowing for several of Schwartz's original tales to be woven into the feature.
As a relatively fresh face in the world of cinema, Scary Stories is likely to be Zoe Colletti's most significant role to date and the movie could propel the actress onto far greater things should she impress. As for the new plot details, it appears as though Scary Stories will follow the lead of the Goosebumps adaptation in terms of taking elements from the books and using them as sources of peril in the movie, rather than attempting to directly adapt any stories from the books themselves.
This approach may set off some alarm bells for fans of the original Scary Stories books, as the premise of 'group of teens make deadly mistake on Halloween' is about as cliche as horror movies get. It certainly doesn't seem to be honoring the creativity and uniqueness of Schwartz and Gammell's books. With that said, it's impossible to write off the project while del Toro is involved. The filmmaker proved with Pan's Labyrinth that he has a natural affinity for strikingly strange and often unsettling imagery and this is something that sets Scary Stories apart from other horror book series.
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is currently without a release date. More as it arrives.