This takes me back. I remember arguing with my sisters about what to watch on Saturday night on the family TV, their choice was the anthology series Goosebumps, based on the R.L. Stine book series of the same name, on YTV. Goosebumps was paired well with that other YTV chestnut Are You Afraid of the Dark? in the TV block “Kids are Easily Scared.” Of course it was effective, and in this day and age of re-branding and rebooting, it’s almost surprising that it’s taken this long to get Gossebumped again.

In the recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, sandwich amidst all that Avengers: Age of Ultron news, was some information about the new film Goosebumps. Like the 90s series, this Goosebumps is based on the books of R.L. Stine, and like the series, they feature none other than R.L. Stine himself. But while the author just introduced the week’s story on the TV show, Stine is a character in the Goosebumps movie, and he’s being played by Jack Black.

Re-teaming with his Gulliver’s Travels director Rob Letterman, Goosebumps finds the author Stine forced to track down all the creatures who’ve escaped from his various books and return them to where they belong. Helping him in this quest is his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush) and their new neighbor Zach (Dylan Minnette).

“He’s an essential character in this movie, which is all about when all of his characters come to life,” said Black in an on set interview with EW. “It was kind of a great way to bring out all of the scary beasts and monsters from all of his books in one movie… this is obviously a fictionalized version of his life and nothing that happens in this movie actually happened to him, other than him writing all the books.”

Since this is Jack Black we’re talking about, it would seem right to expect that his interpretation of the character Stine is not, uh, conventional, and according to Black, you would be correct. “I was just going to approach it as a character, doing what I thought was most dramatically interesting and right for what was needed,” he explained. “I made [the character] more of a sort of curmudgeonly dark, brooding beast master. So from the very beginning, I was taking liberties. I think (the real Stine)’s cool with it though.”

Is he cool with it though?

“He’s been on set and he actually did a little cameo,” said Black. “He saw what I was doing and he was digging it. Or at least he pretended like he was digging it.”

Speaking of digging it, check out this photo of Black’s Stine trying to explain some things to a group of zombies. Anyone else getting a strong Truman Capote vibe?


Goosebumps will be in theaters everywhere next summer, August 7.

Source: Cinema Blend

Category: Books, Film

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