Sony has scored a director for the sequel to ‘Goosebumps’. Ari Sandel, director of teen comedy ‘The DUFF’ and the web series ‘Aim High’, will tackle the follow-up to the 2015 update of the classic 90s TV and book series. The director of the first film, Rob Letterman has moved on to helm ‘Detective Pikachu‘ the first live-action film based on worldwide multimedia brand Pokémon.
At one point, the sequel was going to be called ‘Goosebumps: Horrorland’ after one of the books about an amusement park run by monsters, but that may or may not still be the case.
But speaking of what this movie will be about, there are two versions of the script at Sony. One features the return of the fictionalized R.L. Stine, played by Jack Black in the first, the other doesn’t. That’s because it is still unknown whether or not Black will return. Reportedly, scheduling conflicts could prevent Black from returning– he is currently filming Eli Roth’s horror film ‘The House with a Clock in its Walls’. The script sans Stine is being written by Rob Lieber.
Of course, the original ‘Goosebumps’ books were written by R.L. Stine, but that was fictionalized in the movie with Black playing the author who had locked his horror stories up in magical books. After the monsters in these tales escape, he must round them up and lock them away again, with his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), neighbor Zach (Dylan Minnette) and Zach’s friend Champ (Ryan Lee).
The first film was a medium-sized hit during the Halloween season in 2015. But could a sequel without its one true star be as successful?
It’s possible. Sandel’s work has consistently been teen/tween-oriented. And he was attached to direct a film based on the Mattel toy line ‘Monster High’, but that property is *ahem* dead, so it’s doubtful that a film will ever materialize. But it was monster-themed, so its possible that ideas from that project could find their way into the ‘Goosebumps’ sequel.
In the meantime, Black will next be seen in ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ due out on December 22.
What do you think? Is Sandel a good match to direct the second ‘Goosebumps’ movie? Would you even be interested in a movie without Black?