EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has sprung for a pitch from Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan, who wrote the last four Saw films, to adapt Alvin Schwartz’s classic spooky tale collection Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I’m told it was a competitive bidding for the project, which will see Melton and Dunstan adapt some of the Scary short stories into a screenplay about a group of outcast kids who stand up to their fears to save their town when nightmares come to life. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of Sean Daniel Company and Elizabeth Grave of 1212 Entertainment will produce, with Roberto Grande and Joshua Long exec producing. SDC and 1212 initially optioned rights before teaming up with Melton and Dunstan, who are repped by WME and Trevor Engelson at Underground. VP Mark Ross and Creative Executive Alex Ginno are overseeing the project for CBS Films.
Schwartz collected the Scary Stories tales from folklore and urban legend. The three-book children’s series, which has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, began with 1981’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and continued with More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). Scribes Melton and Dunstan got their start in horror but also recently wrote on Pacific Rim and were tapped to pen Disney’s Stuff of Legend, Fox’s Outliers, and Universal’s God of War. SDC, which scored a hit recently with The Best Man Holiday, is rebooting Universal’s The Mummy and is producing Ben-Hur at MGM.