After crashing the prom with zombies in his screenplay for Gregg Bishop's must-see horror comedy Dance of the Dead (which Daily Dead and friends celebrated in style last year for its 10th anniversary), Joe Ballarini brought the boogeyman (and a whole host of creepy creatures) to life in A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting book series, and the first novel is now being developed as a film at Netflix.
Deadline reports that Rachel Talalay (Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Tank Girl) will direct A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting from a screenplay by Ballarini. Like the book, the family friendly film will focus on teenager Kelly Ferguson, who teams up with a secret and highly skilled group of babysitters who moonlight as monster slayers after the child she's watching is abducted by sinister forces.
Tom Pollock, Ilona Herzberg, and Walden Media's Naia Cucukov will executive produce the film, with Walden Media, Montecito Pictures Company, Ivan Reitman, and Amie Karp on board as producers.
In addition to feature films, Talalay also has extensive experience directing episodes of TV series, with a wide range of credits including Riverdale, Supernatural, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Doctor Who, South of Hell, and American Gods.
Featuring illustrations by Vivienne To, A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting book series consists of three novels, the latest of which is due out this July from Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers).
When we interviewed Ballarini back in 2017, Keegan-Michael Key was lined up to play the Grand Guignol Boogeyman, but it's unclear if that's still the case.
We'll be sure to keep Daily Dead readers updated on further developments, and for those unfamiliar with A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting, we have the official book synopsis and cover art below (via HarperCollins):
"The Last Kids on Earth meets Goosebumps in this hilarious new series about a secret society of babysitters who protect kids from the monsters that really do live under their beds!
When middle schooler Kelly Ferguson’s Halloween plans switch from party-going to babysitting, she thinks the scariest part of her night will be the death of her social life. But then Baby Jacob gets kidnapped by the Boogeyman’s minions and Kelly learns there’s a whole lot more to childcare than free snacks and Netflix. Like chasing shadow monsters, drop-kicking Toadies, and mastering monster-fighting moves like the Naptime Headlock and Playground Punch.
Now, with the help of an ancient handbook and a secret society of butt-kicking babysitters, Kelly sets out to destroy the Boogeyman before he brings Jacob’s nightmares to life. But when the monsters’ trail leads to her school’s big Halloween bash, Kelly will have to prove she can save the world—without totally embarrassing herself in front of her friends.
Packed with black-and-white illustrations and insider secrets from the world of monster hunting, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is full of tricks, treats, and terrifying twists!"
Rachel Talalay (photo courtesy of BBC/BBC Worldwide):