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'Fear Street' director Leigh Janiak wants an MCU-style horror-verse inspired by R.L. Stine

By Josh Weiss
Fear Street Part 3 1666

Fear Street won't be contained to a measly trilogy of films if director Leigh Janiak has anything to say about it. Recently speaking with IndieWire, the filmmaker voiced her hope that Netflix might see the potential of an entire cinematic universe inspired by the classic book series penned by R.L. Stine.

It's not entirely out of the question, particularly since the streamer is constantly looking to build mega-franchises that can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Star Wars and Harry Potter.

“One of the exciting things about Fear Street is the fact that the universe is big and allows for a lot of space,” she explained. “One of the things that I talked about before I was hired was that we have a potential here to create a horror Marvel [Cinematic Universe], where you can have slasher killers from lots of different eras. You have the canon of our main mythology that’s built around the fact that the devil lives in Shadyside, so there’s also room for everything else."

Janiak went on to discuss how the franchise could become a multimedia juggernaut of spinoffs and standalones — whether they come in the form of additional movies or perhaps even a TV series. 

“I don’t even think about it like TV or movies exactly anymore," she continued. That’s the great thing about Netflix and about what Fear Street is, which is kind of a hybrid new thing. I’m excited about the possibility of what else can happen."

Released over a period of three weeks between July 2 and July 16, the trio of Fear Street projects — all of which have fresh scores of 84 percent or more on Rotten Tomatoes — were set in a myriad of different time periods: 1994, 1978, and 1666. For Janiak, those three eras only scratch the surface of what's possible with a property like this, which lends itself to a host of different genres.

"I really started getting excited about a ’50s slasher movie, which I haven’t really seen and what that means. It’s just cool to think about the different eras and what’s possible as a horror fan."

All three Fear Street movies are now available to stream on Netflix.