Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book series is officially coming to the big screen thanks to Guillermo del Toro and some new financial backing. The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark project has been in development since 2013, but it wasn't until 2016 that del Toro was attached. The book series was written from 1981 to 1991 and has freaked out kids ever since, getting passed down generation to generation.
It has now been reported that Entertainment One and CBS Films will co-finance Guillermo del Toro's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Additionally, CBS will distribute the project through Lionsgate in North America while Entertainment One handles distribution in Canada as well as other countries. As far as further international distribution rights, the film will be available to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. Entertainment One's president Steve Bertram announced his excitement for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, noting that the project will be a "chilling fun ride."
As previously noted, Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark was originally published from 1981 to 1991. The children's series was illustrated by Stephen Gammell, and pushed the boundaries for children's books at the time and is still even seen as pretty heavy material for young readers. The titles of the books are Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which came out in 1981, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1984), and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones, which came out in 1991.
The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book series took inspiration from folklore and urban legends, which Alvin Schwartz would meticulously study before writing each volume of the series. The author famously took at least a year to produce each book. The books have been one of the most challenged children's series by the American Library Association, mainly for the violence depicted within each tome. Stephen Gammell's illustrations have also come under fire for being too "surreal" and "nightmarish," which led to some new illustrations by an outside artist for and anniversary collection. However, those new illustrations were seen as offensive by fans of the original series because they didn't follow the original themes of the stories.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is basically tailor-made for Guillermo del Toro to take on. It will be very interesting to see what del Toro is able to pull off as the co-writer and executive producer of the project. It is a bit of a disappointment that he won't be directing the movie, but it will definitely be a scary affair and a giant slice of nostalgia for adults of all ages. More news is expected to be announced about the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie, but until then, you can read the original report over at Deadline.