Netflix is bringing R.L. Stine to its subscribers in a big way. The company has closed a deal for the Fear Street movie trilogy, which was originally produced by Fox. Disney inherited the movies after purchasing most of Fox's media assets last year. But, in light of current events, and with these adaptations not suiting the usual Disney vibe, the studio decided to cut a deal with Netflix. So, instead, the streaming service will be turning summer 2021 into The Summer of Fear.
According to a new report, Netflix has acquired the rights to all three Fear Street movies from Disney. Financial details were not disclosed at this time. It's said that Netflix will release all three of them a month apart from one another next summer. The company will be tying these into a themed event called The Summer of Fear. Production has already wrapped on all three movies, with Leigh Janiak (Honeymoon, Scream: The TV Series) behind the camera. The cast includes Gillian Jacobs, Ashley Zukerman, Sadie Sink, Kiana Madeira, Charlene Amoia, Ryan Simpkins and Fred Hechinger.
The movies were initially produced by Chernin Entertainment for 20th Century Fox. It was an ambitious plan, considering all three movies were shot before a single one of them was released. However, once they ended up in Disney's hands, things changed. Chernin exited its deal with Fox following the merger last year. Meanwhile, Disney suffered a string of box office flops that were produced by Fox and inherited in the merger. Another important distinction, unlike the recent Goosebumps movies, is that these Fear Street adaptations are said to be scarier. They don't quite suit the Disney brand, which also made them easy to sell.
Not only that, but the release schedule for late 2020 and most of 2021 has become incredibly crowded as a result of the ongoing theater closure that kicked off back in mid-March. With that, Disney would have a hard time finding prime real estate for Fear Street. As such, the deal with Netflix emerged, and it's easy to see the apparel. Netflix has deep pockets and is hungry, like all streaming services right now, for premium content.
Fear Street was a line of books created by R.L. Stine, best known as the author of the Goosebumps series. They were initially published between 1989 and 1999. Stine revived the series in 2014. To date, the books have sold more than 80 million copies worldwide. That makes them a potentially attractive bit of IP for a studio. A movie has been in development in some form or another since 2015. ABC also aired a pilot for a series based on the books, titled Ghosts of Fear Street, in 1998.
No plot details have been revealed yet, so it's not clear which books, specifically, inspired the adaptations. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news was previously reported by Deadline.