The film adaptation of the young adult horror series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is still coming, but it will come without previously attached Guillermo Del Toro. The acclaimed director (currently being lauded for his "you have to see it to believe it" film The Shape of Water) has stepped down.
As reported by Deadline, his directing shoes will be filled by André Øvredal, whose credits include The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Trollhunter. It will still be released by CBS Films, and del Toro is still set the produce, alongside Elizabeth Grave, Sean Daniel, and Jason Brown.
Production will begin next summer on this thriller adaptation that will follow a group of teens dealing with grisly deaths in their own small town. The script by Kevin Hagerman and Dan Hagerman (writers on Del Toro's animated Trollhunters show) is based on the original trilogy of books by Alvin Schwartz, which were published in 1984.
The books have sold over 7 million copies worldwide, but the more impressive statistic (depending on how you look at it) is that when it comes to libraries, it is one of the most consistently banned series of books. It's that scary, and that makes us all the more interested in an adaptation.
It is unknown at this point why del Toro has chosen not to direct the film as planned, but a lack of passion is almost certainly not the reason-- he loves the books so much that he owns many of the famous original illustrations by Stephen Gammell. It's good news that he is still involved on some level, though, and here's hoping that André Øvredal can pick up where he left off.