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Guillermo del Toro wants ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ to be a "nice family horror film"

Guillermo del Toro has been detailing the direction he wants to take his next project, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, which he is readying for release.

Del Toro has joined the project, who initially joined the project as writer and producer alongside André Øvredal who will be the director of the feature film, is aiming to keep the storytelling aspect of the film central to its development.

The film is set to be released on August 9, 2019, by Lionsgate and CBS Films with the likes of Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur and Natalie Ganzhorn having joined the cast.

The project, which sees the adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s children’s horror book series of the same name, has been a drawn-out process as CBS Films acquired the rights back on 2013.  

According to the film’s official synopsis, this adaptation will follow “a group of teens who must solve the mystery surrounding a wave of spectacularly horrific deaths in their small town.”

Speaking about the film, Del Toro said: “When I first saw the cover of Scary Stories Vol. 1, it was astounding,” said del Toro. “I found the [stories and illustrations] so chilling. They had the powerful simplicity of a story told at a campfire.”

Del Toro, sitting alongside Øvredal at New York’s Roxy Hotel where they previewed new clips of the film, added that “storytelling and friendship, how storytelling changes who and what you are. It’s a YA movie about childhood around a time when things were changing forever, around 1968 and 1969. It’s the end of childhood in many ways — a crucial time for America.

“We didn’t retrofit the characters to the stories. We adapted the characters to the story.”

Del Toro added: “We wanted to make a family adventure. I want this to be a nice family horror film. Family is horror in itself, but sometimes, with milk and cookies, you can find something nice to watch.”

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark full synopsis:

“It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time—stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying tome.”

Øvredal further described that the film is aiming to be a “fun urban horror tale balancing humour and scares” before adding the he “didn’t wanna go too young, but we wanted to honour the fact that the books are for a younger audience.

“We wanted to honour the material and the stories.”

CBS Films have already released the show’s theatrical poster and now unveil the first previews the tale of ‘The Big Toe’, the ‘Jangly Man’ the ‘The Pale Lady’, and the fourth gets icky with ‘The Red Spot’.