'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' Movie Writer Aims to Honor Show's "Darker, Scarier" Tone

Earlier this week, news broke that a feature film adaptation of the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark? was on the way from the screenwriter of this year's IT, who has confirmed with The Hollywood Reporter he plans to embrace the scarier elements of the series.

"The show is about the shared experience of telling stories — especially scary ones. We're going to celebrate that with this movie and honor the darker, scarier tone of the show, which was really groundbreaking for Nickelodeon at the time. I hope the Midnight Society approves," Gary Dauberman admitted.

Dauberman's reference to The Midnight Society is a direct nod to the series, which focused on a group of teenagers who would regularly congregate at midnight in the woods to tell each other scary stories. The subject matter of the stories would range from haunted houses to a school invaded by otherworldly beings to a secret police force that apprehended kids who made prank calls.

The initial series ran for five seasons, with the Midnight Society featuring a somewhat stable roster of storytellers. Characters came and went, but there was rarely much of a narrative connection for the storytellers, with the focus always being the stories they told. A revival of the series kicked off in 1999, only lasting two seasons.

The series was inspired by shows like The Twilight Zone, Tales From the Darkside and Tales From the Crypt, but the subject matter was often toned down to appeal to the younger demographic of the cable network.

Horror was hot for kids in the '90s, with R.L. Stine releasing the Goosebumps series of books around the same time, which also featured a variety of scary stories that were targeted towards a younger demographic. The popularity of the books resulted in the creation of a TV series of the same name, which ran for four seasons.

In 2015, Jack Black starred in the movie Goosebumps, in which he played Stine in a world where all of his stories had escaped their pages and wreaked havoc in the real world. A sequel to that film is headed to theaters in 2018.

At this point, it's unclear if the Are You Afraid of the Dark? film will be in an anthology format, with different members of the Midnight Society reciting various tales, or if the film will follow a path similar to Goosebumps, bringing a variety of iconic stories to life to confront the group of storytellers.

Stay tuned for news about when you can expect to see Are You Afraid of the Dark? in theaters.

[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]