Light up the camp fire and prepare to be spooked because Nickelodeon’s 90’s-era horror anthology series Are You Afraid of the Dark is set for a big-screen adaptation. Paramount Players (a division of Paramount Pictures) has hired writer/producer Gary Dauberman, who has had a busy (and successful) year. He penned the scripts for Andy Muschetti’s wildly successful IT and possessed-doll-origin-story Annabelle: Creation.
Are You Afraid of the Dark was a Canadian family-friendly anthology series that was picked up by Nickelodeon in 1991. The show revolved around a group of teenagers – “The Midnight Society” – who would gather in the woods to tell scary stories around a raging and atmospheric camp fire. It was essentially The Twilight Zone, but geared towards a younger audience (and with worse fashion).
With all the flexibility granted by an anthology series, the show featured some early appearances from now-familiar faces such as Ryan Gosling, Elisha Cuthbert, Neve Campbell, Jewel Staite, and Jay Baruchel (because yes, they’re all Canadian). The show ran on Nickelodeon from 1992-1996 with a brief revival in 1999.
The original series may have had a young target audience, but in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Dauberman outlined his hopes for a darker tone:
“The show is about the shared experience of telling stories — especially scary ones. We’re going to celebrate that with this movie and honor the darker, scarier tone of the show, which was really groundbreaking for Nickelodeon at the time. I hope the Midnight Society approves.”
With the relatively recent film “adaptation” of Goosebumps (which has a sequel planned for 2018), it’s not entirely surprising that Are You Afraid of the Dark should be next in line. Since the project was just recently announced, there’s no information on if this will be an anthology film or if it will be focused on one main storyline.We’ll hold out for details and keep you posted.
At any rate, though the tone may be a touch lighter than the R-rated films he usually writes, I feel like having a horror-film writer at the helm bodes well for fans who are hoping for something a little meatier.
Dauberman is also writing the script for The Nun – another return to James Wan’s The Conjuring franchise – and IT: Chapter Two, so it sounds like he’s going to have a busy year ahead of him.
For more on Gary Dauberman, click here to read our Annabelle: Creation interview.
Featured image via MovieWeb