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I once took an upper level English course in college on bestselling authors in America. The professor showed up, introduced himself and said, “As English majors, most of you are no doubt elitist pricks who constantly judge everything you read. That's fine, but before you think you're clever for bashing R.L. Stine and Tom Clancy, realize getting young boys and old men to read is nearly impossible. They've done just that and should be celebrated for it.” Getting them to read is actually an understatement. The former author has sold more than four hundred million books, most of them a part of his Goosebumps and Fear Street series. In recent years, his Haunting Hour was adapted into a television show currently airing on Hub, but despite all his success, R.L. Stine has never really gotten the movie adaptation he deserves. This new one could be it.
The writer's forthcoming novel, due out in July, is called It's The First Day Of School … Forever!, and it centers around a middle schooler who's stuck in a Groundhog Day-like existence. Everyday he awakes to repeat the same awkward and soul-crushing redundancy, only instead of rodents and girls, his problems are decidedly ghoulish.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, rights holder Gotham Group is currently looking for a screenwriter to adapt It's The First Day Of School … Forever!, and once that work is complete, they aim to find a partner studio before beginning principal photography. The goal is to turn the novel into a family adventure movie; so, expect the finished product to end up with a PG rating down the road.
I'm proud to say I read dozens of R.L. Stine's books as a child. As the four hundred million figure shows, there's plenty more grown-ups out there who did just the same. If It's The First Day Of School … Forever! can corner even a small percentage of that market in addition to bringing in children, this could be the first in a long line of Stine books to get the cinema treatment. Grab a friend and bring a flashlight, it's going to be a creepy ride.