By Scott Meslow
Yesterday, at the intersection of nostalgia and the corporate exploitation of that nostalgia, Deadline announced that Sony Pictures is negotiating with director Rob Letterman to work on a film adaptation ofGoosebumps, the kid-lit classic series written by R.L. Stine. If the Goosebumps film actually happens, the screenwriters certainly won't be lacking for material: Between 1992 and 1997, Stine churned out 62 books in the series, with each representing the possibility of a hit film. With 62 books to choose from, which Goosebumps books have the best chance of box-office glory? Reader, beware—you're in for an article about the 7 Goosebumps books that are most ripe for a big-screen adaptation:
"Greg thinks there is something wrong with the old camera he found. The photos keep turning out...different. When Greg takes a picture of his father's brand-new car, it's wrecked in the photo. And then his dad crashes the car. It's like the camera can tell the future — or worse. Maybe it makes the future!"
Pros: Features a mad scientist named "Spidey." Might be able to get Ryan Gosling to do it again.
Cons: No one remembers Polaroid cameras anymore.
"When twins Lindy and Kris find a ventriloquist's dummy in a Dumpster, Lindy decides to 'rescue' it, and she names it Slappy. But Kris is green with envy. It's not fair. Why does Lindy get to have all the fun and all the attention? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She'll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. It can't be the dummy causing all the trouble, can it?"
Pros: Perfectly timed to cash in on America's ventriloquism craze. Gilbert Gottfried would be perfect (and presumably available) to do the voice of the dummy.
Cons: Chucky cornered the market on evil dummy movies decades ago.
"Werewolf Village. The Doom Slide. The Coffin Cruise. These are just a few of the famous attractions awaiting Luke and Lizzy Morris at HorrorLand, the amusement park where terror comes free with every ticket. Step right up and join the Morris family as they ride each ride — and scream each scream — for the very first time. Because it might also be their last."
Pros: Already spawned a whole separate book series. Could be spun off into actual theme park.
Cons: Climax centers on the main characters pinching a bunch of monsters. (That might actually be a pro.)
"It's back. Evan Ross can't stop thinking about Monster Blood and what happened last summer. It was so horrible. So terrifying. Too bad Evan's science teacher doesn't believe him. Now he's stuck cleaning out the hamster's cage as punishment for making up stories. Then Evan's friend Andy comes to town, and things go from bad to worse. Because Andy's got a present for Evan. It's green and slimy and it's starting to grow . . . ."
Pros: GIANT HAMSTER.
Cons: Every scene that doesn't include a giant hamster.
"When his father brings home an antique cuckoo clock, Michael is cautioned not to touch it, but he turns back the hands and suddenly he is getting younger by the minute — a year younger, to be exact."
Pros: Incredible title. Everybody loves time travel movies.
Cons: Basically just a kid-lit version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
"Erin and her brother Marty love Shock Street horror films — until a tour of the Shocker studio theme park shows them that real life is a whole lot scarier than the movies."
Pros: Monsters include Wolf Girl, Ape Face, and a bunch of giant praying mantises. Main characters turn out to be robots.
Cons: Probably requires a title change.
"Everyone in Goshen Falls knows about weird Vanessa. She dresses all in black. Wears black lipstick. And puts spells on people. At least, that's what they say. Crystal and her brother, Cole, know you can't believe everything you hear. But that was before they made Vanessa mad. Before she whispered that strange warning, 'Chicken chicken.' Because now something really weird has happened. Crystal's lips have turned as hard as a bird's beak. And Cole has started growing ugly white feathers all over his body. . . ."
Pros: Stine's magnum opus. Arguably the greatest novel of the modern era.
Cons: Not applicable.
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