SDCC 2014: R.L. Stine Battles Nightmares in New 'Goosebumps' Pictures

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 08:17 Written by  iamrogue
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SDCC 2014: R.L. Stine Battles Nightmares in New 'Goosebumps' Pictures

Sony Pictures is looking to totally scarify San Diego with its Goosebumps presentation on Thursday in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront.

Greasing the way for the big event, Sony has released a batch of new official images from the horror comedy starring Jack Black as R.L. Stine, the author of the bestselling junior horror novel series.

Or a fictionalized version of Stine, anyways.  His version is "someone with a little more gravitas, a respected writer, a writer with a dark side," Black tells USA Today. "So I worked on his voice and I decided to give him an Orson Wellesian accent, a little Northeastern flavor."

See, Goosebumps doesn't adapt a particular novel.  Instead, it peppers in elements of a whole lot of novels.  The story follows Zach (Dylan Minette), a New York teenager who moves to a small town where he promptly develops a crush on his neighbor, Hannah (Odeya Rush).  Turns out her father is Stine, a reclusive author and prisoner of his own imagination.  When Zack inadvertently lets Stine's creations leap from manuscript pages into real life, he must team with Hannah and Stine to save their town.

"He has to put all these monsters back in the books," director Rob Letterman says of Stine, "and at the same time keep the next-door neighbor kid from dating his daughter.

"It's an incredibly delicate tone to weave horror scares and comedy and adventure," continues the Gulliver's Travels and Shark Tale helmer. "I lean on Jack a lot to bridge those gaps."

That ventriloquist dummy up there is Slappy, the nightmarish little fellow from Night of the Living Dummy.  From the sound of it, he's basically the antagonist of Goosebumps, a manifestation of Stine's subconscious who tools around in a classic car.  And he's the one who is really responsible for Stine's nightmares getting loose into the world.

According to Black, who worked with Letterman twice before, Goosebumps "really felt like the movie that he was born to make. He had such a connection to the creatures, and I could see in his face that this was going to be a home run."

"I love the idea of just starting in a grounded world," says Letterman. "And letting a supernatural element enter it — and staying with the characters and seeing how they deal with something impossible to imagine."

Check back on Thursday for IAR's coverage of the Goosebumps panel and maybe even an exclusive interview.

Goosebumps is scheduled to open at a theater near you August 7, 2015.

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