Sequels aren't easy prospects to get off the ground, as they ultimately come down to two factors: is it worth the time, and how fast can you get them off the ground? When it comes to Sony and Goosebumps 2, it looks like speed and worth are both attractive factors to the studio, as we've gotten new word about the sequel's status. Not only has the film apparently been greenlit, but it's also got a release date penciled in: January 26, 2018.
Exhibitor Relations tweeted out the news, and it certainly caught us by surprise. We knew that Goosebumps 2 was a subject of negotiations over at Sony, but the last we had heard was that they were only talks. Apparently, talk has turned to action before our eyes, and the sequel to the 2015 hit is now in play. Presumably, director Rob Letterman and writer Darren Lemke will be returning to the fold to shepherd the new entry in the adaptation of R.L. Stine's landmark children's book series. Though an even more tenuous subject is whether or not any of the leads will be returning.
In particular, the status of Stine's fictional surrogate himself, Jack Black, has always been a question Goosebumps 2's production team would have to answer. With this new release date, we're not particularly sure about the chances for Black's return, as a January release date may indicate that the studio is trying to hedge its bets with the film's possible success. Though Goosebumps did gross $150.2 million on a $50 million budget back in 2015, it was during an October that didn't have a lot of big ticket competition. Since October 2018 has Aquaman to contend with, Goosebumps 2 certainly doesn't want to run against DC's still evolving machine.
As far as what the story of Goosebumps 2 may entail, it wouldn't be surprising if the story did change completely, as the series of Goosebumps books was always an anthology of different stories and characters, with a couple franchises recurring within the voluminous collection of books. So if Sony really wanted to, they could reduce the role of R.L. Stine to that of a Rod Serling type that introduces and closes the film's story, with the body of the film being focused on a story like The Haunted Mask or Night Of The Living Dummy, just for example.
As more details become available, we'll update you as to the status of Goosebumps 2's production. For now, the film is currently slated for January 26, 2018; though don't be surprised if that changes once any cast changes and/or production dates are announced. In the meantime, you can expect to see Jack Black in Jumanji, which opens in theaters this December.