R.L. Stine Spookiness Coming to Theaters Soon
The spookiness of fall has officially begun, thanks to news from R.L. Stine.
For many, Stine’s Goosebumps series was a childhood mainstay. His popular—and chilling—books aimed at children and younger teens became a part of pop culture in the ’90s, but his stories are making a comeback thanks to two new movie adaptations.
Mostly Ghostly: Meet My Ghoulfriend, featuring actress Bella Thorne, is already out on DVD. In it, Max (Ryan Ochoa) only has eyes for Cammy (Thorne), the smart, popular redhead at school. When Max and Cammy finally go on a date—on Halloween—Phears, an evil ghost with plans on taking over the world, unleashes ghosts and things go a little haywire. With the help of some ghostly friends of his own, Max must thwart Phears’ evil plot, help his friends, and still make his date with Cammy. Can he do it?
“This is a book series that I loved writing because it was stolen from a TV show that I loved when I was a kid,” Stine said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “The whole idea was stolen from a show called ‘Topper,’ which actually was based on a series of books back from the 1920s about a really respectable banker who suddenly finds his house inhabited by these two wild ghosts […] They try to make him as wild as they are. They try to improve his life. And they constantly get him into trouble. And I loved this TV series ‘Topper’ when I was a kid. And then later, I started thinking I wanted to do a new series. I went, ‘I will steal that idea, and I’ll do it with kids. I’ll do ‘Topper’ for kids.’ ”
Goosebumps, coming out next summer, is the more higher-profile of the two films. Starring Jack Black, Odeya Rush (The Giver), Amy Ryan, Ken Marino and more, the family adventure/horror movie is set in the small town of Greenland, Maryland. A young boy named Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) meets Hannah (Rush), his new neighbor. Hannah’s father, R. L. Stine (Black), writes the Goosebumps stories, and keeps all the ghosts and scary beings in the series locked up in his books. But when Zach unintentionally releases them, he, Hannah, and Stine must team up in order to put the monsters and ghosts back where they came from, before it’s too late.
Writing himself into a movie was “very weird,” Stine continued. But “it’s very cool,” he added, that Jack Black will play him.
“He actually flew in, in the winter, like in a blizzard, I think just because he wanted to look at me, figure out what I’m like, you know. We had a nice lunch, we had a nice talk. He’s terrific,” Stine said of Black. “We got along really well, and I told him I thought he’d be a terrific me.”
Mostly Ghostly: Meet My Ghoulfriend hit DVD on Sept. 2. See Jack Black as R.L. Stine in Goosebumps in theaters Aug. 7, 2015.
Andrea Fisher is a Triad-based writer, movie lover, and content specialist for Dish2u. She has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider. Read more of her work @andreafisher007.