Guillermo del Toro's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has gotten an official 2019 release date to go with its creepy new logo. Alvin Schwartz's original children's horror short story collections were big hits back in the 1980s and '90s, arguably as much for Stephen Gammell's disturbing illustrations as the stories themselves. CBS Films acquired the film rights back in 2013 and set to work on an adaptation shortly thereafter. However, the project spent the following three years stuck in early development - that is, until del Toro (an admitted fan of the source material) got involved.
Scary Stories eventually secured funding this past April, shortly after del Toro took home the Best Picture Oscar for his monster romance The Shape of Water. The movie is being directed by Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and started production back in August, with del Toro serving as its producer and cowriter. Now, CBS and Lionsgate have officially scheduled Scary Stories to hit theaters next summer.
Per the studios' joint announcement, Scary Stories will hit U.S. theaters on August 9, 2019. The film, which del Toro cowrote with the Hageman brothers (Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia), follows a group of young teenagers as they try to solve a mystery involving a series of "sudden and macabre deaths" in their town. Zoe Margaret Colletti (Wildlife) is starring as the movie's young protagonist, with character actors like Breaking Bad's Dean Norris bringing the movie's adults to life. You can see the film's actual logo above, then check out del Toro, Colletti, and Øvredal on the Scary Stories set in the image below.
The Scary Stories movie is now scheduled to premiere against Disney's Artemis Fowl adaptation during its opening weekend, in addition to Hereditary director Ari Aster's new horror movie Midsommar. While it's possible either Scary Stories or Midsommar will eventually change dates, it's not really a necessity. Scary Stories, perhaps even more so than Schwartz's source material, is horror entertainment geared towards a younger audience. Aster's next movie, on the other hand, is expected to be a very mature and R-rated horror offering (like Hereditary), so there shouldn't be a whole lot of overlap between its audience and Scary Stories' target demographic.
That being said: just because Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is intended for kids doesn't mean it won't be a freaky little movie, in its own way. Øvredal and del Toro definitely know how to creep audiences out, making them as qualified as anyone to try and do justice by Schwartz's original stories on the big screen. Nevertheless, it's probably best to expect their movie to hew closer to something "spoopy" like Eli Roth's The House with a Clock in Its Walls adaptation than, say, the nightmare fuel of Pan's Labyrinth and Autopsy of Jane Doe.
Source: CBS Films and Lionsgate