If you were a child of the 80s with a taste for the macabre, then chances are pretty good that you grew up with the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark series. Before Goosebumps became the standard for books that were meant to both scare and entertain kids, Alvin Schwartz's iconic book trilogy took the world of children's literature by storm, ending up being equal parts loved and hated by parents worldwide.
The series is notable for not only its gruesome tales of terror, violence, and just plain grossness sometimes, but also for its absolutely iconic illustrations. Illustrated by American children's book cartoonist Stephen Gammell, the book featured some truly disturbing images with splashes of bright primary colors, making it so that kids would be equal parts terrified and fascinated by what they were seeing. Combine this with its stories of folklore and the macabre, and it became a best-seller.
A total of three books in the series were made: Scary Stories To Tell in The Dark in 1981, More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark in 1984, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones in 1991. While they each sold quite well, there was also quite a bit of controversy surrounding them, as many schools and parents spoke out against them thanks to their macabre imagery and subject matter.
Well, apparently that wasn't enough to dissuade CBS from wanting to make a movie series out of the books. The network acquired the rights to the series in 2013, and it looks like they've now found their director for the first movie...
After the acquisition of the rights to the book series in 2013, CBS Films has been slowly building toward making the movie a reality. In 2014 they announced it would be written by Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie writer John August, while in 2016 it was announced that director Guillermo Del Toro would be involved as a producer and possibly even a director on the movie.
However, Del Toro seems to have passed on the directorial role, which has now gone to Norwegian director André Øvredal. If you've never heard his name before, you're probably not alone, but one look at his filmography reveals that he's a pretty great choice.
Øvredal made his name with his 2010 independent movie Trollhunter, a story of a camera crew that follows a man who hunts real-life trolls straight from Norse mythology. It was an impressive monster movie not unlike recent ones like Godzilla and Cloverfield, and it cemented Øvredal as someone to keep an eye on.
His next movie was the horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which received generally positive impressions and even won a few awards in the independent film circuit. With these two movies in mind, Øvredal seems like a solid choice for Scary Stories, and it will be interesting to see what he can do with the backing of a major studio and awesome source material.