2015's Goosebumps had the riveting imagination of R.L. Stine's bestselling children's novels fly off the pages in the blockbuster staring comedic actor Jack Black as a fictional version of the author. However, after announcement of a sequel and rumors of a script without Jack Black's character surfaced, it was unclear if he would return, especially since the first trailer nor any of the films posters didn't feature the actor. Now just a couple weeks before the theatrical release, Jack Black fans can rejoice as a new Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween trailer features the return of his R.L. Stine. Take a look:
The fun, spooky-spirited preview from Sony gets fans in the mood for the fun and family-friendly sequel full of howling werewolves, deadly gnomes, glowing witches and lethal gummy bears. The video features a new set of leads, including Jeremy Ray Taylor from 2017's IT, Madison Iseman from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Caleel Harris from Castle Rock. The kids face a similar premise from its predecessor, as they unlock one of R.L. Stine's books, setting off a collection of monsters and creepy creatures throughout the neighborhood. An "old friend", R.L. Stine, reprised by Jack Black, then appears to the scene, who looks to be now returning for another adventure devoted to putting the creatures of his imagination back in the books he penned.
As October approaches in a few days, it does seem like a bizarre approach for the studio to reveal Jack Black's involvement so close to the release. While it's unclear just how large of a role Jack Black will play in the sequel, considering the circumstances, my guess is that he doesn't appear until the second or third act of Goosebumps 2, possibly as an intended surprise for viewers that the studio might have decided to disclose in hopes of getting more audiences in seats when the sequel is released. The reveal does follow the successful opening weekend of Jack Black's other fantasy family film, The House with a Clock in its Walls, who certainly contributed to the No. 1 spot the movie took.
Following rumors of Jack Black's absence in Goosebumps 2, fans of the first film might have previously been turned off from the sequel. The studio now is offering moviegoers a redeeming reason to go out to see the film, targeting the big audience who went out to see Jack Black over this past weekend as well. While the film was in development, we heard there was a script that did not include Jack Black's R.L. Stine. This caused speculation that the actor didn't want to star in the film, but considering his involvement in tonally similar flicks such as the new Jumanji films and The House with a Clock in its Walls, this just didn't add up. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween hits theaters on October 12.