Deadline broke it and the man himself confirmed it: Guillermo del Toro has signed on to develop Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. He’ll be working with the folks at CBS films, who have been developing the project with screenwriter John August. This means he’ll have a producer credit on the film, but get this — he may direct it as well.
If you’re a fan of Alvin Schwartz’s three Scary Stories books, you should be jumping for joy.
If you’re not a fan of the books and you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, you still probably knew about them. The books had a reputation — they were banned in many school libraries and classrooms. Schwartz’s stories are indeed scary, but the books’ controversy didn’t come from that. It came from the work of illustrator Stephen Gammell.
Gammell’s illustrations were terrifying, often because they drifted into the abstract and surreal, but also because they were frequently graphic. His art was a crucial part of the experience of reading the books, and I think it’s crucial that the film take inspiration from the artwork. But, hey. If there’s one guy we can trust to make a horror film look beautiful and icky, it’s Guillermo del Toro.
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