Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Is Officially Happening
It’s understandable if your immediate reaction to that headline was an eye roll — we’d all but given up hope for Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which was first announced over two years ago. Since then, del Toro has accumulated a handful of potential projects, stepped away from a blockbuster sequel, and won an Oscar for a romantic period drama about a mute woman and a fish-man. A lot can change in a couple of years, is what I’m saying.
Per Deadline, del Toro’s adaptation of the classic YA horror novel series by Alvin Schwartz (with indelibly terrifying artwork by Stephen Gammell) is finally coming to life with The Autopsy of Jane Doe director André Øvredal at the helm. eOne will co-finance the project with CBS Films, the latter of which will distribute via Lionsgate in the US. Del Toro, who is also producing, co-wrote the screenplay with Daniel and Kevin Hageman (The LEGO Movie). A previous draft was written by John August of Big Fish and Frankenweenie fame.
Each installment of Schwartz’s original novel series featured a collection of spooky, spine-tingling stories guaranteed to keep you up all night (whether you were too scared to sleep or just couldn’t put the books down). As to how del Toro and Øvredal intend to adapt that concept for the big screen, the story is said to follow “a group of young teens who must solve the mystery surrounding sudden and macabre deaths in their small town” — those deaths are presumably inspired by the tales in Scary Stories.
We’ve been waiting for a big-screen adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark since 2013, when CBS Films bought the rights to a pitch from Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the duo behind The Collector and a handful of Saw sequels. Then, in early 2016, Guillermo del Toro signed on to direct the film, subsequently hiring the Hageman brothers to write a new draft of the screenplay. It’s been quite a while since we heard any news about the project, but perhaps del Toro’s recent Oscar win renewed studio interest in getting this thing off the ground.
Whatever the reason, this is one nostalgia-trip I can’t wait to see.