Guillermo del Toro has just signed on to develop and possibly direct a very dark project. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, to be exact; the classic children’s books written by Alvin Schwartz that were nightmare on their own, but being paired with illustrations by Stephen Gammell made them mildly horrifying. Three Scary Stories books were published by Shwartz between 1981 and 1991, each composed of short horror stories influenced by urban legends and folklore. The series is easily one of the most challenged and banned books in schools, and yet over 7 million copies have been sold to date. Del Torro himself was probably responsible for some of those sales.When Deadline unveiled the news of del Toro’s project, they reported that he’s a “big fan” of the books, and is the proud owner of several original Gammell illustrations (which del Toro showed off via Twitter). Del Toro will produce for CBS Films, alongside Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, and Elizabeth Grave; and he may even direct as well. John August (Big Fish) penned a newer, modified version of an earlier script by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston (Saw franchise).
I start development on a film based on a favorite book of youth: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! pic.twitter.com/yu31FkCz4K
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) January 14, 2016
CBS Films actually secured the rights to a Scary Stories movie back in 2013, but no plot details have been released. Rumors were heard, however, that a group of the short stories would be interwoven into a central plot following a young group of outcasts on a mission to save their fellow townsfolk from their nightmares which have started to become reality. This is by no means the official plot synopsis, as nothing has been heard on the subject since.
Along with a plot, the timeline for the movie is also a bit unclear. No start or release date has been announced, and del Toro is already involved with Pacific Rim 2 and a Fantastic Voyage remake he recently decided to helm for producer James Cameron with studio 20th Century Fox. He’s got some original projects in mind as well, so hopefully this decision wasn’t made on a whim. If anyone can capture the creepy-crawly vibe of the Scary Stories, it’s del Toro! Who else was scared witless/creeped out by this series? And what are your thoughts on a movie adaptation?