Last year, news broke that everyone's favorite childhood nightmare book, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, was going to be turned into a film. But now this befuddling movie adaptation has a whole new screenwriter, John August. Yeah, Tim Burton's John August.
Originally it was being reported that Saw screenwriters Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton were going to translate the many short stories from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark into a single film. But now Deadline is reporting that John August (Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, Titan A.E.) will be writing the script for CBS Films. If you noticed, August likes to work with Tim Burton, a lot.
Was the move to hire August over the Saw writers was an intentional "shift in gears" by the producers? What does this mean? Did the movie suddenly get less graphic? Possibly.
Then there's the matter of Tim Burton. This project has Burton written all over it, but that might not be a necessarily good move. When was the last time Burton was legit scary? Beetlejuice? Sleepy Hollow? HOWEVER the classic Burton "nightmare face" would really feel at home in this world.
So there would be lots of pros and cons to having Burton helm this work. Either way, the real challenge is finding one way to tell all these stories in a way that's engaging, but also respectful to the source material. Because if they screw this up, I swear to god I will rip all of my hair out right outside of the movie theater dressed as the corpse bride who was stuck forever in the trunk.
UPDATE: According to a tipster John August mentioned on his Scriptnotes podcast that he was not thrilled about my above speculation. Just to straighten anything up, Tim Burton is in no way attached to this project. This is a massively important book to a lot of people in my generation, any bit of news is going to get my brain pinwheeling. And we are going to talk about it, a lot. But again we never meant to imply the Burton was working on the film that is 100% not confirmed whatsoever.
Oh and there was question as to why I dropped Titan A.E. in the list of things August has worked on as a writer, that's because we fucking love that movie.