SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK Movie Will be Scripted by John August
Last year we leaned that the classic terrifying kids horror book series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will be getting a big screen adaptation. CBS Films is developing the project, and they picked up a pitch from Saw writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. They were originally attached to adapt the Alvin Schwartz books, but now they’ve hired John August to take on that challenge. August is the writer who brought us films such as Big Fish, Frankenweenie, and Go.
These were three of my favorite books when I was growing up. I even had the audio tapes that were scary as hell to listen to. You can listen to those here if you want. The books consist of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1981), More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). I especially enjoyed the the nightmarish illustrations by award-winning artist Stephen Gammell.
It was previously reported that the plan was to "adapt some of the Scary short stories into a screenplay about a group of outcast kids who stand up to their fears to save their town when nightmares come to life." That may not be what we see in the version August is writing, though. Deadline reports that he is going back to the source material for his take on the adaptation, so he’s most likely starting from scratch.
August is a talented screenwriter, and I’m sure he’ll come up with something cool. There’s still no director attached to the project, but you know what would be awesome? If Tim Burton directed it. August has already collaborated with him in the past, and this could give Burton the opportunity to make a really scary movie. I’ve always wanted to see Burton go all out on a horror film.
My idea would be to adapt them as an anthology film. They could pick a few different stories and have different writers and directors take on each one. This could be an incredibly fun franchise, like the V/H/S horror franchise, but better.