Note: The following story contains spoilers from “Goosebumps” episode 9.
Legendary “Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine first graced the screen of one of his adaptations during a cameo in the 2015 Jack Black-led film — and he is continuing the trend in the new Disney+ and Hulu series.
“He did a cameo in the movie and [we] got to know him and he’s so much fun, and we just wanted to do that [again],” creator Rob Letterman told TheWrap, referencing a brief moment when Stine says hello to Black at the end of the movie. “He gave his blessing for us to do the show, but it’s also just fun to incorporate him in.”
Stine’s cameo in the ninth installment of the 10-episode freshman season comes amidst a twist in the “Goosebumps” story, as the teens and parents believe their problems have been solved after the ghost of Harold Biddle finds peace. After finally being released from Biddle’s grasp, Mr. Bratt (Justin Long) writes a thinly veiled novel recounting the horrific turn of events, but struggles to nail a compelling ending that will please his publisher.
“The original plan was [Stine] was going to be the editor at our fake Scholastic publisher that reads Bratt’s book,” Letterman said. “It was going to be him in the office going, ‘It needs a twist!’ That was going to be the thing.”
Like all the best-laid plans, Stine’s cameo as the publisher was shaken up when the author got sick and couldn’t travel to Vancouver to film the scene.
“We were wracking our brains and then [showrunner] Hilary [Winston], and [co-executive producer] James Eagan came up with the save, which was: What if [Stine] has a podcast,” Letterman said. “[We] just got on with Bob and had him read a podcast that plays in the car, and it just worked out.”
As Mr. Bratt searches for inspiration to revitalize the conclusion of this book, he listens to a podcast, titled “Let the Write One In,” read by Stine, which reminds the teacher that “true creation comes from darkness.”
“Every great story has a beginning, a middle and a twist,” Stine says in true “Goosebumps” fashion in his cameo, pushing Mr. Bratt to consider more extreme measures to help along his storytelling. “So, you out there, what are you willing to do?”
The first nine episodes of “Goosebumps” are now streaming on Disney+ and Hulu, with the Season 1 finale dropping on Nov. 17.