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For any kids in the 1990s who embraced horror and all of its spooky sub-genres, few shows on TV felt more significant than Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? With dark and creepy tales and only a minimal amount of pandering, Are You Afraid of the Dark? has long been an icon of quality genre programming for youngsters. It's being revived for entirely new generations in the near future, and the small screen cast just got announced as the new Midnight Society!
With a standalone feature film on the way, Are You Afraid of the Dark? is returning to Nickelodeon for a limited miniseries revival that is currently still planned to coincide with the big screen release. It's not entirely clear just how such connections will be made, nor whether this cast will show up in the film or not. But let's go ahead and take a look at everyone who joined the Midnight Society for the new project.
Jeremy Ray Taylor
While his pre-2017 career was limited to smaller film roles such as "Boy" and "Bully," Jeremy Ray Taylor exploded in 2017 and 2018 as part of the casts for Andy Muschietti's horror mega-hit IT and the spook-driven family flick Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. He'll also appear in the upcoming IT Chapter Two, though in a diminished capacity, since the sequel is focused on the adults.
For Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Jeremy Ray Taylor will play the role of Midnight Society member Graham. (No further character descriptions were given by Deadline.)
With bit roles in TV shows such as Hawaii Five-0 and American Horror Story: Roanoke, young actress Miya Cech made a bigger name for herself in the past two years as a star of Jennifer Yuh Nelson's action-drama The Darkest Minds and McG's recent alien invasion comedy Rim of the World for Netflix. She also portrayed Young Emiko on Arrow Season 7 and can currently be seen in the new Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe.
Miya Cech will portray the role of Akiko for Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Sam Ashe Arnold
Having been in a few features in his early acting years, Canadian actor Sam Ashe Arnold nailed the biggest role of his career so far as part of Netflix's teen comedy Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever., which debuted in October 2018. (It's unknown if the show will return for Season 2, given its "limited series" status.) Arnold has some experience with creepy kids shows, as he appeared in an episode of He'll soon be seen in the Richard Bell drama Brotherhood.
When he makes his debut on Nickelodeon for Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Sam Ashe Arnold will be playing the role of Gavin.
As the actor on this list with the least amount of projects to her name, Tamara Smart will still probably be recognizable to anyone who has ever watched episodes of the children's series The Worst Witch, in which she portrays Enid Nightshade. The future is bright for Smart as well, as she'll also appear in the highly anticipated adaptation of the young adult hit Artemis Fowl.
In Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Tamara Smart will portray Louise.
Having appeared in episodes of The Night Shift, black-ish and Strange Angel, actress Lyliana Wray is going to hit the big screen in a big way in 2020 as part of the cast of Top Gun: Maverick. But she'll likely be seen popping up first in the Nickelodeon limited series.
For Are You Afraid of the Dark, Lyliana Wray will be playing a girl named Rachel.
Last but not least, we have the lone member of this cast announcement who is old enough to drink and rent a car. A poet, writer, musician and actor who reached heights of fame through his YouTube channel, Rafael Casal teamed with childhood friend (and Hamilton star) Daveed Diggs for the 2018 drama Blindspotting, which earned the pair further acclaim. The two, along with others from the film's production team, are reuniting for the upcoming feature First Sight.
Too old to be a member of the Midnight Society, Rafael Casal will actually be playing what sounds like the antagonist role for Are You Afraid of the Dark? His character is called Mr. Tophat, and he'll be the ringmaster for the Carnival of Doom that fits into the limited series' narrative.
For those who were previously unaware, Nickelodeon's return to the woods for Are You Afraid of the Dark? will take place over three episodes and will be an hour long. The main narrative will have the kids from the new Midnight Society coming together to experience a most frightening tale about the supposedly fictional Carnival of Doom, but things take a dark turn when it's discovered the story's events have entered reality.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?'s limited series is being written by BenDavid Grabinski, who penned Skiptrace and will celebrate his directorial debut with the Charlyne Yi thriller Happily. The episodes will be directed by filmmaker Dean Israelite, who helped Project Almanac and the 2017 Power Rangers feature, so expect some effects-driven action in the Nickelodeon off-shoot.
It's currently unknown just how this Are You Afraid of the Dark? limited series is going to connect with the impending feature film. There's virtually no information out there at the moment about the movie's plotline or anything of that nature, so until we start hearing some details about that side of things, we only have conjecture to go on.
Dean Israelite is also going to be the director of the Are You Afraid of the Dark? feature, which will also share BenDavid Grabinski as its co-screenwriter. The other writer is the somewhat prolific Gary Dauberman, the Swamp Thing co-showrunner whose upcoming credits include IT Chapter 2, Annabelle Comes Home, and Salem's Lot, among other things.
While the Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie was initially set to make its big debut in October 2019, the film got delayed until some point in the future, though it's currently unknown when it'll premiere. However, anyone who was worried about it potentially not happening should take some comfort in the limited series' casting process getting underway.
With BenDavid Grabinski and Dean Israelite also serving as executive producers, the Are You Afraid of the Dark? limited series will hit Nickelodeon presumably later this year when things get spooky, with more news about the film hopefully coming before then.