EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has tapped a new scribe to spin its Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. BAFTA-nominated John August (Big Fish, Frankenweenie, GO) will adapt the iconic book series by Alvin Schwartz that had children of the ’80s and ’90s hearing bumps in the night, penning a new script based on the best-selling spooky story collection.
The three-book children’s series that’s sold more than 7 million copies worldwide began with 1981’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, continuing with More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). The collection of folk tales and urban legends also memorably haunted generations of youngsters with its surreal and nightmarish illustrations by award-winning artist Stephen Gammell.
Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of Sean Daniel Company and Elizabeth Grave of 1212 Entertainment are producing, while Roberto Grande and Joshua Long will executive produce. Mark Ross and Alex Ginno are overseeing for CBS Films.
An earlier iteration of the feature project had Saw’s Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton scripting before producers shifted gears. August is going back to the source material for his take and a director will be the next piece to fall into place. The frequent Tim Burton scribe most recently wrote 2012’s Frankenweenie, which earned an Oscar nom for Best Animated Feature; he’s repped by UTA and attorney Ken Richman.
The Sean Daniel Company is currently in production on Richard Linklater’s That’s What I’m Talking About and SyFy’s The Expanse starring Thomas Jane. They’re also in prep on MGM/Paramount’s historical epic Ben-Hur and readying Universal’s The Mummy reboot, which Alex Kurtzman is directing next year.