While there are many things scarier than the entirety of young adult horror novelist R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, the thought of the upcoming Jack Black-starring film adaptation sits firmly at the top of that fright mountain. But there’s no form of last chapter witchery to be found, and so it continues on in its development, roping in Israeli actress Odeya Rush for the young female lead in the film.
For those gauging her career superficially, she’s going from Philip Noyce’s adaptation of the beloved-by-all-ages The Giver to one of the beloved-by-‘80s-babies children’s series that was somehow even more ridiculous than his formulaic more mature fare. (I was admittedly a full-blown Fear Street hound at 10.) This movie needs to be good, for an entire generation’s sense of nostalgia is at stake.
TheWrap reports Black has closed his deal to star in the film, for which he’ll play a spooky story author named Mr. Shivers – eesh – whose library of haunting characters suddenly come to life, forcing Shivers into hiding. Rush will play his mysterious and unique nice, who teams up with her young male neighbor to take on the otherworldly creations form her uncle’s novels. I fully expect her name to be Sally Monsterkiller or Damsel McScreamy, and I kind of hope this flick completely embraces the seemingly flippant sense of camp emanating from Stine’s books.
Rush is making a big name for herself in a short time, as her career just gained major traction in 2012 with The Odd Life of Timothy Green. In this last year she appeared in a pair of horrors: Jim Mickle’s slow-burning We Are What We Are and Ken Kushner’s When the Devil Comes. She’ll also be seen in the upcoming indie comedic drama See You in Valhalla, and she’ll play Mary, mother of Jesus, in Alister Grierson’s drama Mary, with Ben Kingsley and Julia Ormond.
There’s no telling how good or bad Goosebumps will end up being, as the highly successful TV series from 1995-98 was incredibly cheesy and lacking in comparison to Are You Afraid of the Dark?, but Stine has made a career out of chapter-ending freakouts that just might translate well into a film. It’s being directed by Gulliver’s Travels helmer Rob Letterman, which doesn’t exactly tip the scales in a positive manner. But we’re hopeful. And the photograph we just took with this old-timey camera we found in the wall showed us screaming in horror.
Below you’ll find a trailer for the Season One set of the Goosebumps DVDs, for which Stine himself introduces things as if he were planning on being the inspiration for the Dean on Community.