Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark capitalized last year on the classic 1980s literary horror franchise responsible for generational childhood trauma with a feature film that—having earned $105.8 million worldwide—may not have set the box office scene on fire, but certainly provided a big enough bang for its studio’s budgetary buck. Consequently, sequel plans are now moving forward.
The creative band is getting back together for the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark sequel movie, with director André Øvredal and writers Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman set to return. Additionally, Guillermo del Toro—who worked on the first film’s screenplay after vacating the director’s chair—will return to develop the story on which the script will be based. The untitled sequel will be co-financed by Paramount Pictures and eOne, with the former handling distribution. This is a slight pipeline change from the previous movie, which eOne co-produced with CBS Films, which was absorbed into—Paramount’s parent company—Viacom back in December 2019.
No official plot details were revealed about Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 2 upon its green light. However, it wouldn’t be outrageous to speculate that the sequel will continue the narrative strategy of the first film, which adapted the literary source material—the trilogy of nightmarishly-illustrated children’s horror tales by author Alvin Schwartz—in a meta manner, showing the stories as having come from a cursed book whose supernatural manifestations are attacking—and disappearing—teenagers in a Pennsylvania small town in 1968. Indeed, with the first film having covered classic stories such as “Harold,” “The Big Toe” and “The Red Spot,” the sequel could keep the iconic urban legends/ghost stories coming with representations of yet-to-be-adapted stories such as “The Thing,” “The Hook” and “High Beams.”
Likewise, no casting news was divulged about the Scary Stories sequel. Yet, with the first film having centered on Zoe Colletti’s protagonist, Stella Nicholls, and even concluded with the open-ended, sequel-accommodating idea that she may yet have a way to rescue her disappeared friends, it seems like a given that the star will return here. Colletti was joined in the first film’s cast of kids by Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur and Natalie Ganzhorn. The supporting cast of adults consisted of notables such as Dean Norris, Gil Bellows and Lorraine Toussaint.
Director André Øvredal released fantasy film Mortal this past February in his native Norway. He’s been in pre-production for a horror film titled The Last Voyage of Demeter, which tells the story of the titular ill-fated cargo ship that transported Dracula from Transylvania to England. He’s also attached to write and direct a Norwegian UFO film called Bright Skies. However, coronavirus delays notwithstanding, it seems likely that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 2 will get a fast pass to the top of Øvredal’s backlog, seeing as the first film was his breakout project after gaining initial international attention for the insular 2016 horror offering, The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Writers the Hagemans will next be experienced in animated feature The Croods 2, which is set to arrive in December. They are also attached to a kid-aimed Star Trek animated series set for Nickelodeon.
We’ll keep you updated on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 2 (title to be determined) as the news arrives!