If you were a child of the 90’s then you’ll remember the R.L. Stine book series ‘Goosebumps.’ They were great reads and each book focused on a scary horror story. Columbia has been trying to get the book series made into a full length feature and, according to THR, is in the process of hiring ‘Jack the Giant Killer’ scribe, Darren Lemke, to write the screenplay.
Ever since Columbia bought the rights to ‘Goosebumps’ in 2008, they’ve made several attempts to get it off the ground. Several writers have taken a crack at a script. First the team of Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander (‘Agent Cody Banks’, ‘1408’) tried to come up with a story but to no avail. Then the job went to Carl Ellsworth (‘Disturbia’, ‘Red Dawn’). Apparently, Columbia hasn’t found someone who can create the same tone the books had, so they’ve now decided to start fresh with Lemke.
Children’s movies seem to be up this writer’s alley as he has written such kid fare as ‘Shrek Forever After’ and the soon to be released ‘Jack the Giant Killer.’ His other projects include a retelling of ‘The Nutcracker’ and a variation of the Dorothy classic ‘Oz.’ Currently, his screenplay ‘Turbo’ (about a snail who wants to be the fastest snail in the world) is in pre-production.
Since the books were geared toward school aged kids, there wasn’t much gore involved but there was plenty of scare and humor. Each book was a story onto itself which may be why it has been difficult to write a screenplay that Columbia will accept. It’s unknown if Columbia wants to have an original story under the banner of ‘Goosebumps’ or adapt a story from one of the books. Since Lemke will be starting from scratch, maybe they don’t know either.
The book series has sold over 300 million copies worldwide and is second in sales to the ‘Harry Potter’ books. It spawned an anthology TV series that ran for 4 years as well as a stage play and an attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort called ‘Goosebumps HorrorLand Fright Show and FunHouse.’
‘Goosebumps’ will be co-produced by Neal Moritz (‘Battle Los Angeles’, ‘Total Recall’, ‘Fast Five’) and Deborah Forte (‘Goosebumps’ TV series, ‘The Golden Compass’, ‘Tuck Everlasting’) of Scholastic Entertainment. As the project is still in development, no release date has yet been given.