EXCLUSIVE: André Øvredal, the Norwegian helmer who directed The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Trollhunter, is set to direct Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark at CBS Films. Guillermo del Toro, who’s in the Oscar hunt with The Shape of Water, has stepped aside from his original plan to direct. He will produce with Sean Daniel, Jason Brown and Elizabeth Grave. The film is based on the wildly successful trilogy of books by Alvin Schwartz, which included iconic illustrations by Stephen Gammell.
The thriller follows a group of young teens who must solve the mystery surrounding sudden and macabre deaths in their small town. Kevin Hageman and Dan Hageman (The Lego Movie) wrote the most recent draft based on the books.
Production will begin next summer.
Deadline first revealed the project in early 2016. It remains a passion project for del Toro, who is such a big fan of the books that he owns 10 of the original illustrations by Gammell. The trilogy of Schwartz’s short story collection, published in 1984, have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide and also has been one of the most banned books from libraries because it scares the kiddies. Ovredal is repped by WME and Industry Entertainment.