*Updated with comments from writer Gary Dauberman* It's time to make sure your Midnight Society membership card is still valid, because an Are You Afraid of the Dark? film is reportedly in the works.
According to The Tracking Board, the Paramount Pictures division Paramount Players has hired Gary Dauberman to write a screenplay for a movie based on the Are You Afraid of the Dark? anthology TV series that aired on Nickelodeon from 1992–1996 (after premiering in Canada in 1990) before being revived for new episodes in 1999–2000.
After writing a new draft of the screenplay for the 2017 IT movie, Dauberman was hired by New Line Cinema to write the sequel, and he also wrote The Nun movie for James Wan's interconnected Conjuring cinematic universe. In addition to writing the screenplay, Dauberman will also produce the Are You Afraid of the Dark? film alongside Matt Kaplan.
While specific plot details have yet to be revealed, Dauberman spoke briefly with THR about the film adaptation:
"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."
An entire generation of ’90s children and teens were raised on episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which took viewers to a campfire in the woods where every night teenage members of a group known as The Midnight Society told scary stories to each other that would come to life on screen, oftentimes containing a moral lesson or reflection of something going on in the storytellers' lives. Featuring early appearances by actors such as Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell, Will Friedle, and Melissa Joan Hart, Are You Afraid of the Dark? has a high re-watchability factor, with several classic installments like "The Tale of the Dead Man's Float" and "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner" still managing to raise goosebumps.
It will be interesting to see what approach Dauberman will take to Are You Afraid of the Dark?, but the format of the TV series makes this material ripe for an anthology adaptation, perhaps with new takes on the stories that a generation of viewers grew up on. We'll be sure to keep you updated as more details are revealed. In the meantime, gather close to the fire, make sure your bucket of water is nearby, and prepare for The Midnight Society to hold council under the stars once again.