Reader beware, you're in for a scare ... on television (again)! Deadline brings word that R.L. Stine's beloved Goosebumps books are returning to the small screen from publisher Scholastic and producer Neal H. Moritz. The latter, who has an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, produced the two live-action film adaptations starring Jack Black as Stine.
"Goosebumps has been keeping kids and families on the edge of their seats for nearly 30 years and we’re very excited to partner with Sony Pictures Television and Neal H. Moritz to bring the enduring brand to life in a fresh new way for today’s generation,” Iole Lucchese, Scholastic Entertainment president and chief strategy officer, said in a statement to Deadline. “From the world-famous book series to a full-scale licensing program and even live-action movies starring Jack Black, Goosebumps remains wildly popular and we look forward to presenting new adventures to give fans even more Goosebumps."
As fans are probably aware, this isn't the first time the beloved YA horror novels have graced the world of television. A Goosebumps anthology series ran for a total of 74 episodes between 1995 and 1998 on YTV in Canada and Fox Kids in the United States. Despite some rather cheesy production values and acting performances, the program is now iconic for its theme song/opening and "reader beware" tagline. Stine himself appeared in the show as a Rod Serling-esque host who introduces the stories.
Similar to Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps (like the books it was based on) told chilling tales about young protagonists contending with dark forces and shady characters. Are You Afraid...? first premiered in 1990, and its long-running success was probably the impetus for turning Goosebumps into a TV show in the first place.
Right now, it's unclear whether Moritz (also a producer on projects like Sonic the Hedgehog and Bloodshot) will go for a similar anthology approach or mash up Stine's mythos as he did in the two films. Together, the duo of big-screen adaptations brought in over $250 million at the worldwide box office.
“I loved making the Goosebumps movies and can’t wait to bring even more of R. L. Stine’s incredible stories to life through a high-end television series that speaks to both adults and kids alike,” Moritz said in a separate statement to Deadline.
With over 200 books to its name, the Goosebumps brand currently spans a $2 billion multimedia brand of spinoffs, games, and other assorted merchandise around the globe.
Stine is also famous for his Fear Street series, which was headed for the big screen at 20th Century Fox. Sadie Sink and Gillian Jacobs were both cast in the planned trilogy, but with the studio now owned by Disney, all bets are off on whether the movies will get made.