As a child of the early ’90s, I have a special fondness in my heart for R.L. Stine and his series of Goosebumps books. Stine first began publishing the series in 1992 and he would eventually write 156 Goosebumps books. 156!
Besides the youth adult novels, Stine licensed out the series for video games, toys, clothing, a television show and pretty much every other form of licensable merchandise under the sun. I once owned a Goosebumps compass — as in a device that allowed me to draw perfect circles. Of course there was also my Goosebumps stapler shaped like a giant man-eating hamster.
The one arena R.L. Stine never stepped into, though, was theatrical movies. That dream is one step closer now as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting Columbia has hired Carl Ellsworth to bring the book series to the big screen. Ellsworth is the writer of such films as Disturbia, Red Eye and the recent remake of The Last House on the Left.
The Goosebumps movie will be produced by Neal Moritz of Original Film and Deborah Forte of Scholastic Entertainment. A few years back Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander wrote a treatment for a possible Goosebumps movie. There is no word if that script will be used or even considered for Ellsworth’s project.
The Goosebumps books started off pretty strong — featuring some genuinely unsettling concepts presented for kids. As the series progressed and R.L. Stine began licensing out the brand name more and more, the books began to take on a slightly more sillier tone. Recurring villains were established and the books’ threats were made slightly less threatening.
I’m curious as to what a Goosebumps movie would look like. There are certainly enough titles to choose from and Ellsworth has his pick of the litter when choosing a book to adapt. Instead of adapting a single book, though, I’d prefer to see an anthology approach to the title. It’d be nice for kids to have their own version of Creepshow or Trick ‘r’ Treat. A Goosebumps movie that intertwined several of the more popular stories might be a fun Halloween treat for kids whose parents aren’t stupid enough to think taking them to see the latest Saw movie is a good idea.
Tags: saw, The Last House On The Left