Fear Street R.L. Stine Film Trilogy Set for Netflix in 2021

R.L. Stine’s Fear Street films have been acquired by Netflix in a deal with Disney.

Fear Street: "Wrong Number" book cover
Photo: Simon & Schuster

The film trilogy adapting R.L. Stine’s Fear Street book franchise is officially relocating its ominous traffic to streaming giant Netflix.

A deal has been closed that will see Netflix acquire the Fear Street films from Disney, reports Deadline. The plan now is to premiere each of the interconnected film entries—all directed by Leigh Janiak—in Summer 2021 at the interval of a month apart. Netflix’s early marketing plans will see the trilogy heralded by a campaign dubbed “The Summer of Fear.” While a solid release date was not provided, the summer window seems solid and shouldn’t be susceptible to COVID-dealt delays, since principal photography on the films has already wrapped.

While fans of Stine’s Fear Street—the author’s slightly-scarier, somewhat-sexified teen-aimed alternative to his signature Goosebumps books—certainly embraced this live-action adaptation, the film trilogy project was passed off by the coalition of 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment, which once planned to release the films in theaters. However, Disney’s acquisition of Fox led to this past January’s split between Chernin and Disney; a move that essentially left the not-quite-family-friendly Fear Street an orphaned property at the Mouse House. Thus, Fox’s theatrical plans were nixed due to a number of variables, including the omnipresent pandemic, which left Chernin’s Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping free to set up this Netflix deal.

Indeed, with the Fear Street property not being a fit for the streaming branding of Disney+, the only option left was to sell to the more tonally-appropriate platform of Netflix. However, Disney is actually still very much in the (very-much-booming) R.L. Stine business, with its recent order for Just Beyond, a live-action adaptation of a more kid-friendly horror anthology series.

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With a platform now finally secured, the Fear Street films could become a major breakout moment for director Leigh Janiak, who worked off Stine-adapting scripts she co-wrote with Phil Graziadei, Zak Olkewicz, Roberto Patino and Kate Trefry. As a director, Janiak brings experience mostly from the world of television, recently with the pilot for upcoming Amazon drama series Panic, along with a duo of episodes from MTV’s Scream and an episode of Cinemax Robert Kirkman adaptation series Outcast. Her lone existing feature film credit is for the 2014 mystery thriller, Honeymoon, which featured co-stars in Star Trek: Picard’s Harry Treadaway and Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie.

The cast of the completed Fear Street films consists of names such as Gillian Jacobs, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Emily Rudd, Benjamin Flores Jr, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Jeremy Ford and Julia Rehwald.

Fear Street Release Date

Fear Street’s three films are scheduled to premiere on Netflix in the summer of 2021 on dates to be revealed.