Rob Lieber has been selected to write the screenplay for a ‘Goosebumps’ sequel. His script just is one of several circulating around the Sony lot at the moment. Sources say that Lieber’s version of the story does not feature a role for Jack Black, the comedic actor who starred in the first version of the film as horror author R. L. Stine, however, it is believed that Black could still come on board the project if his schedule allows. There is currently no deal on the table for the actor to return.
In the first ‘Goosebumps’ film, Black’s R.L. Stine wrote the stories when he was young as a way to frighten the people who made fun of him, but when the monsters became real, he locked them away in his manuscripts. Inevitably, the monsters escaped during the movie, and Stine, his daughter Hannah, new neighbor Zach, and Zach’s friend Champ had to trap them once more. Given that Stine is the man responsible for the creatures of ‘Goosebumps,’ it’s hard to imagine a follow-up story without his presence.
If Black does not come back to the project, his absence could help the studio keep costs relatively low. Black commands a salary rumored to be between $6 million to $8 million. There was the belief in some quarters at Sony that the first ‘Goosebumps,’ with a reported $58 million budget, was too pricey. The film was a modest hit at the box office, having grossed $150.2 million worldwide.
Other scripts that are still being considered do feature Black’s character and are based on other books in the ‘Goosebumps’ series. Sony originally slated the ‘Goosebumps’ sequel for a September 2018 release. That could be a hard date to hit given that the project is still in the script phase and the film has yet to be cast.