Anyone who grew up in the 90s will remember Goosebumps as the anthology series of kid’s horror books that also became a live-action TV series. It was eventually revamped in 2015 into a movie, and while talks of a sequel to the movie have been going on for a while, producers at Sony have finally announced that they have signed a director.
The first Goosebumps movie was moderately successful but not a massive hit, garnering a modest 150 million at the box office. Starring Jack Black as Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, the film centres around Stine’s fantastical creations escaping their books to wreak havoc on the small town he lives in. It was pretty well received and Stein’s sheer amount of stories mean the movie was easily open for a sequel.
Sony have signed Ari Sandel (The DUFF and Aim High) to direct the sequel, which will either be called Goosebumps 2 or Goosebumps: Horrorland, and this is where things start to get a little confusing. The different titles reflect the fact that there are two different scripts – one by Darren Lemke and one by Rob Lieber – which Sony has yet to choose between. This is somewhat concerning, given the film’s scheduled release date of 21 September 2018.
Director Ari Sandel
This isn’t the only thing about the Goosebumps sequel that doesn’t inspire confidence. The fact that a director has just been hired, with only nine months to release, means that Sandel has little time to work on what should be a high FX movie. They also aren’t clear about whether Jack Black will be returning, which could either mean new casting or a new set of characters. Add this to the fact that Sony is also looking for ways to slash the budget, and it’s starting to feel like the studio has little confidence in their own project.
Horror that’s inclusive of a younger audience has been growing over the past couple of years. With the nostalgic revival of IT and the upcoming Are You Afraid of the Dark film, it looks like Sony’s trying to keep up with this current wave of popularity but either doesn’t know how or is unwilling to put the effort into it.