“School of Rock” star Jack Black is close to returning to family fare, as he’s in negotiations to star in Sony Pictures’ adaptation of R.L. Stine’s bestselling book series “Goosebumps,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Neal H. Moritz, who helped steer Universal’s “Fast & Furious” franchise back on the blockbuster track, is producing with Deborah Forte of Scholastic Entertainment, which is hiring David Bowers to direct “Clifford the Big Red Dog” for Universal, as TheWrap reported earlier on Friday.
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If Black’s deal closes, he would reunite with director Rob Letterman, who worked with Black on “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Shark Tale.”
An individual familiar with the script tells TheWrap that Black would play a Stine-like author whose scary characters literally leap off the page, forcing him to hide from his own creepy creations.
“Goosebumps” is one of the most popular children’s book series ever, surpassed only by the “Harry Potter” novels in total sales, with more than 300 million copies sold worldwide. The series has been published in over 32 languages and was successfully adapted as a TV series by Scholastic Entertainment for the Fox Kids Network, where it was rated #1 for four seasons and aired in over 100 countries.
Episodes of the live-action television series returned to the small screen in 2007 on Cartoon Network and “Goosebumps” has also spawned a video game from Scholastic Interactive.
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Sony execs Hannah Minghella and Elizabeth Cantillon will oversee the “Goosebumps” movie for the studio.
Black is coming off an acclaimed turn in Richard Linklater‘s “Bernie,” which earned him Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations. He recently filmed a cameo in Sony’s comedy “Sex Tape” and played Elvis Presley on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History.” Black will reprise his voice role as Po the Panda in “Kung Fu Panda 3,” and he’s also attached to star in the New Line comedy “Tag” with Will Ferrell.
Black is represented by WME and attorney Warren Dern.