Jack Black On “GOOSEBUMPS” Film, Playing R.L. Stine

For just over twenty years now, the GOOSEBUMPS series of novels has been a gateway to horror for children (it certainly had an effect on me), and though adapted into a television series in 1995, it’s surprising it’s taken this long to reach the big screen. Finally making its way in 2015, GOOSEBUMPS will arrive in a monster mash that refuses to use one story as inspiration. Instead, Jack Black will play GOOSEBUMPS author R.L. Stine, who must contend with all of his creepy creations come to life. 

Ahead of a panel and likely footage debut at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con, Black spoke to EW (the photo comes from Bloody Disgusting) about the vibe of the long-awaited GOOSEBUMPS film. He says, “Well, kids like scary movies, but you can’t take them to what are the big scary movies now where Satan comes out and bites your genitals off. Those movies can actually leave you mentally scared; that’s not for kids. But kids still like to get a little thrill and a little danger, so you need projects like this.”

He’s right, of course. For as much illicit material many of us watched on the sly as adolescents, we were just as affected by films and series that were sort of horror-lite, whetting our appetites for the seriously macabre. I’ve not revisited GOOSEBUMPS since childhood, but I recall Stine using classic horror constructs and monsters that, if done right (practically), could get a whole lot of kids going for ghouls.

Speaking to his role, Black says, “I play R.L. Stine, who’s not in any of the books, but he’s an essential character in this movie, which is all about when all of his characters come to life. It was kind of a great way to bring out all of the scary beasts and monsters from all of his books in one movie.”

On how close Black hews to a real life R.L. Stine, the actor adds: ‘But I made [the character] more of a sort of curmudgeonly dark, brooding beast master. So from the very beginning, I was taking liberties. I think he’s cool with it though.”

GOOSEBUMPS is set for an August 7, 2015 release. Rob Letterman (MONSTERS VS. ALIENS) directs.

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Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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