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Guillermo del Toro has always been a busy man, so the news that he abdicated the Pacific Rim 2 director’s chair wasn’t terribly surprising. It’s even less surprising knowing that the likely reason he stepped away from that world of large scale chaos is because he’s prepping to work on the smaller and creepier Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. The project has take a big step forward, as Dan and Kevin Hageman of The LEGO Movie fame have been hired to do some work on the script.
The Hollywood Reporter recently grabbed this item, stating that Guillermo del Toro had hired the brothers after recently working with both Dan and Kevin Hageman on the Netflix series based off of his YA novel series, Trollhunters. Apparently, that collaboration was so fruitful that del Toro is entrusting another literary adaptation for young adults to the pair, and Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is just as much a passion project for the Mexican director as his own series is. Looking back on their credentials, it’s clear that both Hagemans are a perfect fit for the project.
Dan and Kevin Hageman, in addition to working on the mega hit that was The LEGO Movie, also have a co-writing credit on another smash hit with the kids, the original Hotel Transylvania. So it’s clear that the Hageman brothers are pretty in tune with what to offer in a film that may seem geared primarily towards children, but keeps the interests of the adult audience in mind as well. With the horror end of the equation being represented by the involvement of famed horror writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton – best known for writing several later entries of the Saw series – Dan and Kevin Hageman are more than likely going to make sure that Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is still aimed at a more of a middle ground end result that everyone can enjoy.
Which renews our belief that Guillermo del Toro is simply the person to direct the final film. Seeing as Pacific Rim 2 will only retain del Toro as a producer, and since Fantastic Voyage and an untitled project over at Fox Searchlight are the only other films that del Toro seems to have on his more current slate of possible productions, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark could jump to the front of the queue while all of those other projects develop. As del Toro is a big fan of Alvin Schwartz ‘s collection of horrors, and he’s already deeply involved with the project, it shouldn’t be that much of a stretch for him to jump in and do what he does best. Considering that he’s hired Dan and Kevin Hageman after already working with them on Trollhunters, this just might be a sign that he’s about to do just that.
Unfortunately, there’s no scheduling information for when they plan to have Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark in theaters, or even in production, but at the very least we know one very comforting fact. And that fact is that anyone who’s read the books with the newer, more sanitized artwork accompanying the stories is going to be in for a shock when they see what Guillermo del Toro and company have in store for them.