‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’ Movie Comes Out This Summer

Guillermo del Toro is producing a film adaptation of the classic children's book.

Gillermo del Toro
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Guillermo del Toro is producing a film adaptation of the classic children's book.

It’s been rumored for decades, but at long last, the controversial children’s book by Alvin Schwartz, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, is getting a movie adaptation. Produced by Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Dead Alive), Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is being helmed by André Øvredal, director of the highly stylistic 2010 film, Trollhunter. Guillermo del Toro, Kevin Hageman, and Daniel Hageman penned the script for the upcoming horror flick.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark now has an official release date of August 9, 2019.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark does face a potential hurdle in opening up on August 9, as it will be competing against the opening of Disney’s Artemis Fowl as well. Disney is, of course, a force to be reckoned with at the box office, but will the draw of nostalgia be enough to take Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark to the top? Only time will tell.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is being released by Lionsgate and CBS Films.

Probably the most memorable aspect of the original book was the macabre and minimalist drawings of artist and illustrator Stephen Gammell. Some of the pictures contained within the children’s book were considered so disturbing that many parents fought to have Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark banned from public schools, considering the book to be not suitable for children.

Gammell’s artwork was deemed so terrifying, in fact, that Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was re-issued in 2011 with the artwork completely replaced with new illustrations by Brett Helquist. Helquist is best known for illustrating another children’s book, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The reissue was panned by fans for its replacement of Stephen Gammell’s original artwork, and now the original illustrations have been restored to new copies of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.

Released in 1981, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark spawned two sequels. In 1984, the book More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was released, also penned by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Scary Stories 3 followed in 1991 with artwork just as macabre and sinister as the two previous entries.

Assuming the film adaptation Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a hit at the box office, it seems likely that there’s plenty of source material for sequels to follow.