The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie has found its director in André Øvredal. Back in 2013, CBS Films acquired the rights to Alvin Schwartz’s children’s book series in order to adapt them into a feature film. After being in pre-production for years, the movie is starting to take shape.
Written by Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a horror series aimed at children - but due to its peculiar illustrations, it has been banned quite often by the American Library Association. Guillermo del Toro has been attached as producer from the beginning, and even though he had plans to direct at first, he later stepped aside and left the path free for a new director - that being Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal.
According to Deadline, Øvredal will helm the film, which is being written by Kevin and Dan Hageman (Hotel Transylvania, The LEGO Movie). Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, and Elizabeth Grave will serve as producers along with del Toro. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will take on the form of a thriller, following a group teenagers who must solve the mystery surrounding the sudden deaths in their small town. Production is expected to begin next summer.
André Øvredal is best known for writing and directing the found-footage horror/comedy Trollhunter, as well as directing the supernatural horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe, starring Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox. Among his recent works is the pilot episode of Fox’s action-horror series Enormous, based on the comic book of the same name.
The Scary Stories book series is comprised by three volumes: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. Schwartz’s inspiration came from folklore and urban legends, and even though these stories were aimed at young kids, Gammell’s illustrations have turned out to be a bit too much for some readers. They have continuously been banned from libraries for being too “nightmarish” or even violent for young readers.
Given the tone of the book series and Øvredal’s background in horror and fantasy, he seems like a good choice to helm the film. Hopefully, the creative team will take inspiration from Gammell’s iconic illustrations and translate their nightmarish vibe to the big screen.