You’re in for a scare… courtesy of horror maestro Guillermo del Toro. The Devil’s Backbone (2001) and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) filmmaker has another chilling tale to tell, this time he will develop and produce a big-screen adaption of the creepy children’s book series ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark‘ for CBS films.
The Alvin Schwartz books that were first published in 1981 creeped out a generation of young readers with tales drawing on folklore, urban legends and ghost stories to be read by torch light. The accompanying illustrations by Stephen Gammell would feature in our nightmares long after the books were closed. In fact, the American Library Association banned the books because they were considered to be ‘too scary’ for children.
Before you get the heebie-jeebies about whether this news holds any truth, Del Toro tweeted about the project on his personal Twitter account, writing: “I start development on a film based on a favorite book of youth: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark!”
He will be producing the film alongside Sean Daniel, Jason Brown and Elizabeth Grave, and as if this news could get any better, he might potentially take the Director’s chair too. Del Toro has a number of works within his ‘frightfest’ filmography, his most recent being Crimson Peak (2015), which is a gothic horror that plays with the tropes of the Haunted House genre.
Tim Burton’s go-to screenwriter, John August, has written the first draft of the screenplay. During a conversation with Crave Online in November, he said: “I think [the movie will be] quite scary. Without spoiling things I will say that the illustrations are an incredibly crucial part of the book and they are an incredibly crucial part of the movie. The difference between those original illustrations and the second set of illustrations are an important aspect of the movie experience.”
The timeline and plot details for the formidable feature remain under wraps but it isn’t as if Del Toro’s schedule is dead… In addition to Pacific Rim 2, he recently signed on to helm the 20th Century Fox Fantastic Voyage remake, as well as some original projects kicking around in the back of his closet. Lets hope that they don’t keep us in the dark for too long!
How do you envision the ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ big-screen adaption to play out?