R.L. Stine's Goosebumps finally hits movie screens
Stine discusses the long road to the Silver Screen and Jack Black's portrayal of him
R.L. Stine has sold more than 400 million books and seen his work turned into a wildly successful television series, but it took 23 years for a Goosebumps movie to get made.
Still, it could be worse says the author behind the bestselling series.
"When Maurice Sendak wrote Where the Wild Things Are, he was in his 30s. When the movie...came out, he was in his 80s, so I'm lucky," he joked to CBC News.
According to the 72-year-old writer, the biggest roadblock was determining the perfect script since "nobody could figure out what story to do."
That's until just a few years ago when it was decided "let's not do one book. Let's do them all," recalled Stine.
In theatres Friday, Goosebumps the movie sees all of the author's infamous characters come to life in the real world. Lead by the evil ventriloquist's dummy, Slappy, they wage war on the residents of a small town. From lawn gnomes with axes to grind to a bloodthirsty teen werewolf, horror is literally roaming the streets.
Stine also turns up – albeit portrayed by comic actor Jack Black, who told the writer he was planning to take some creative liberties.
"He said 'I'm going to be a more sinister version of you.' And that's what he did."
A dream come true
Stine and a group of teens (played by actors Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee) are the town's only hope to send the monsters back to where they came from.
Minnette, a fan of the books growing up, says the role was a dream come true.
"I got an email that said Goosebumps and I said 'No way. There's a Goosebumps movie.' I remember the night vividly. It was exciting just to hear it, let alone to be in it," he said.
For the real Stine, all he wants is for the audience to get a good scare.
"I want kids to know you can pick up a book and just be entertained, you don't have to learn anything. You don't have to be enlightened. You can just read for fun and that's what my whole career has been about."
And asked whether there are any morals to his stories?
"Run. Run as fast as you can."