During our recent trip to New York Comic Con, ComicBook.com had an opportunity to sit down for a couple of minutes with legendary children's book writer R.L. Stine, creator of the best-selling Goosebumps line of books.
Goosebumps had its first theatrical feature film released this weekend, and it's poised to take the top spot at the box office with a $30+ million draw that will account for more than half of the film's production budget. A sequel is reportedly in the works, although both the film's stars and its director cautioned us that such talk was premature until it's known how this one did at the box office.
You can check out our chat with Stine below.
This has been a journey for you. What's it like to see a full-length theatrical feature, as opposed to some of the smaller productions based on your work in the past?
It's very exciting, especially since they decided to use so many monsters. I like that; I think there are forty monsters in the film. It's a very crazy idea.
We've had movie deals for 20 years and nobody could come up with a script that anybody liked. It was always, "Which book should we do? What monster should we base it on?" Then when they had this idea, "Well, let's do all of them! Let's do all the early ones from the early books!" that was kind of freeing for everyone and suddenly there were scripts that people liked. So I'm very excited about it.
Back in the Goosebumps heyday, there was a mascot named Curly for the fan club. Did you consider having him in this movie, or would he be in a sequel?
Curly was never in a book! Curly was never in a character, and I don't know who created Curly.
It might have been Tim Jacobis, who did the first 62 Goosebumps covers, who did all those paintings. I'm sure Tim drew it but I'm not sure whose idea it was. I didn't have much to do with Curly. He just started appearing on things.
We did a lot of merchandise, a lot of products back then, we had everything. We had Goosebumps bedsheets and Goosebumps sneakers and all this stuff. Curly sort of became the mascot for all of that, but he was never a character. He never appeared in a book, and I don't know what I would do with just a skeleton. How would I make him a character?
We were having a lot of fun this week with all the crazy titles for your books. Can you remember any titles from the old days that didn't get used?
That didn't get used? Oh, no. I don't think I can. The way I work is backwards from most authors. Most authors they start writing, and they think of a story and then later, once they have it, they think of a title. I have to have the title first. People always say, "Where do you get your ideas?" I say "From the titles." I never really think of idea, I try to think of titles. And usually I'll have a title that I really like and then I'll base the book on that. So I don't remember any. I'm sure there were some that were rejected and some that got changed, but I can't remember any now.