Guillermo del Toro's SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK Moves Forward with New Writers

About a month ago we learned that Guillermo del Toro might direct a big screen adaption of the classic kids horror book series by Alvin Schwartz, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Variety recently confirmed that he is looking at directing the film, which he is currently developing, and that CBS Films has hired writers Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman to polish the script. They previously worked on The LEGO Movie

It would make sense for Del Toro to take on this project, and I imagine this will be the next film he works on. Earlier this week we learned that he had passed the directing duties for Pacific Rim 2 on to Daredevil showrunner Steven DeKnight, which tells me that he’s got something cooking that he would much rather do, and I think that project is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. At least, I hope it is!

The first draft of the script was written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, and later in development John August worked on a draft. 

I would absolutely love to see Del Toro take on this project because he would be perfect for it. I grew up on these books, and my brothers and I used to stay up late at night reading them and listening to the audiotapes scaring the living shit out of each other.

The creepiest part of the books were the illustrations created by Stephen Gammell. Those images are forever etched into my memory, and from time to time they still influence my nightmares. Apparently, the film’s plot will have something to do with these illustrations.

There was a recent 30th-anniversary edition of the books that was released in which Gammell’s illustrations were replaced with new art by Brett Helquist. I wasn’t a big fan of the change, and neither were many of the fans. Last year it was revealed the movie would actually address the change. August said:

“Without sort of spoiling things about the movie. I will say that the difference between those original illustrations and the second set of illustrations are an important aspect of the movie experience.”

I’m curious to see how that actually fits in with the story they are going to tell. I just really hope this thing isn’t like the Goosebumps movie that was recently released. Here’s a description of the book:

This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright. There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

If done right, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark could be an insanely terrifying film. Hopefully that’s what Del Toro and these screenwriters will give us.

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