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Disney’s 'Just Beyond' showrunner says fantastical series is a great place to start kids on horror

By James Comtois

The executive producer behind Disney's upcoming Just Beyond anthology series wants the show to center on fears that young adults actually have. 

Based on the BOOM! Studios YA comic of the same name written by Goosebumps and Fear Street scribe R.L. Stine, Just Beyond assembles eight standalone episodes about witches, aliens, ghosts, and parallel dimensions, among other things. But at the root of every episode is a real-world fear or anxiety that a young adult could likely relate to.

“We wanted every one of these stories to be able to relate to something in the real life of a young person,” series creator Seth Grahame-Smith said at the show’s virtual New York Comic Con panel on Sunday. 

For example, one episode in the series centers on anxiety. Another story is about a young woman moving on from a broken friendship and healing. Another episode focuses on grief.  

“What are the areas that young adults have fears about?” Grahame-Smith asked. 

Grahame-Smith added that he believes the world that Stine created is a great place for younger viewers to explore horror in a safe way. 

“It’s a place where you could be really scared, but not necessarily going to be subjected to gore or something truly traumatizing,” he said. “It’s almost like a real introductory lesson to people who will watch horror movies in the future. This is your first real taste of that world. And you’re going to be scared and you’re going to be anxious and you’re going to be worried and you’re going to be surprised, but you’re not going to be scarred necessarily.”

This first season consists of eight episodes. But if Disney+ wants more, Grahame-Smith is ready to oblige.

“If Disney+ wants another season, in my mind, there’s like, five more seasons of stories that I want to tell with this, at least,” he said. “But it’s not my choice.”

All eight episodes of Just Beyond drop Oct. 13 on Disney+.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2021.