It’s been a few years since we heard anything about the planned big-screen adaptation of legendarily terrifying kid’s book series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Since then, the project’s biggest champion, Guillermo del Toro, won a couple of Oscars – which no doubt helped it get a big push forward.
Guillermo del Toro with his 2018 Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for The Shape of Water. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)
Before you get too excited, del Toro isn’t going to direct this one; he’ll co-produce and also co-wrote the adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s cult-beloved book series. But you should still get pretty damn excited because the director is André Øvredal, who made 2010’s mock-doc Trollhunter (not to be confused with del Toro’s Trollhunters Netflix series) as well as 2016’s very well-received horror entry The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
It sounds like a great match between producer and director, not to mention source material, which could follow in the blockbuster success of It with its tale of a group of young friends facing macabre, supernatural forces.
Schwartz’s YA books, which came out between 1981-1991 and drew inspiration from folklore, urban legends and classic ghost stories, are revered not just for their prose but for their freaky, bone-chilling Stephen Gammell illustrations (accept no substitutes from any later editions).
Considering del Toro owns several of Gammell’s original drawings, it seems likely that the images that’ve been burning themselves into the minds of young readers for decades now will influence the movie’s imagery, too. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is set to begin filming this winter.