Friday, May 10, 2019

'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' Movie/Miniseries Plot Unveiled

Production Weekly has unveiled more details about Paramount Players's movie adaptation of the '90s Nickelodeon horror anthology series Are You Afraid of the Dark?!


The official synopsis for Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? miniseries is: "A group of kids meet in secret every week to tell scary stories in the woods. They're call the Midnight Society. But when a new girl arrives in town and auditions to join the group... things begin to get spooky. A reboot of the classic '90s Nickelodeon show."

The production listing also reveals that filming for the movie will begin Monday, June 10th and wrap Friday, July 19th in Vancouver, Canada, as well as the production credits are:

Produced by: Are You Afraid Productions Inc., Ace Entertainment, Nickelodeon West Coast, Paramount Players
Producer: Matt Kaplan, Robyn Marshall, Mallory Martin, Max Siemers
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Writer/Producer: BenDavid Grabinski
Director: Dean Israelite
LP: Chris Foss
PM: Tia Buhl
PC: Cathy Fullerton

Now, here's where it gets confusing. The production listing for the Are You Afraid of the Dark? project lists it as a new miniseries, although it has the movies' production credits. Paramount Players announced last year that they were producing a new movie adaptation of the '90s Nickelodeon hit. The only major difference is Dean Israelite (2017's Power Rangers movie) is now sitting in the directors chair, taking over from D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, xXx: Return of Xander Cage).

The Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie was set to be released in October this year, but Paramount Pictures recently took the film off their 2019 release schedule. Could Paramount and Nickelodeon have changed their minds about their Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie, and are now releasing it as a miniseries? The Are You Afraid of the Dark? miniseries was announced during Nickelodeon Upfront 2019 in February, and is slated to premiere in October 2019.

Of course, it could easily be just a typo, and it's the movie that's being filming in June 2019, not the miniseries.

Israelite made his feature film debut with the found-footage time travel flick Project Almanac. He then went on to direct Saban's 2017 Power Rangers, based on the wildly popular and long-running franchise. Next, he will write and direct Amblin’s supernatural thriller Minotaur.

It was recently revealed that The Prodigy director Nicholas McCarthy delivered the latest draft of the movie's script.

"I actually just turned in the script and we’re all pretty excited about it," he told SYFY WIRE. "I think the target is to shoot it this summer. I’ve had an absolute blast. There’s been a couple of writers before who have tried to crack it, and I think I’ve done it with this version. I love the series, too, and I’ve already had an amazing time writing it. The people that are behind it also love the series and it’s just been really really cool."

The "couple of writers" to which McCarthy refers are Gary Dauberman (It: Chapters 1 & 2) and BenDavid Grabinski (Skiptrace). When he was still writing an earlier draft of the screenplay last September, Dauberman promised that he would be sticking to the spirit of the original series, which could be incredibly frightening at times. McCarthy also went back to the beloved source material, rewatching those episodes that are truly representative of the show as a whole.

"I couldn’t watch all 90 or whatever it is, but I revisited a huge ton of them," he continued with a laugh. "I shouldn’t say too much more about it because I don’t know how they’re gonna frame what they’re doing with it. I don’t think any of the other writers who have been on it before have talked about the direction of the big screen version, but as a fan of the series and as someone who has really enjoyed going back and watching them, I’ve been really keen to try to capture the spirit of what makes that show so great."

Originally slated to open Oct. 11 of this year, it is now unclear when the movie version of Are You Afraid of the Dark? will reach theater-going audiences. After all, if the project plans to shoot over the summer, there's almost no way it can make a fall 2019 release. Indeed, fans may have to wait until Halloween of 2020 (most high-profile horror films usually open around the spooky holiday) to see it.

In addition, McCarthy confirmed that the tie-in miniseries, set to air on Nickelodeon this October (unless it's being pushed off with the film's production schedule), is still happening, although he isn't involved with it in any way. The Are You Afraid of the Dark? miniseries is slated to start filming in Vancouver, Canada on Monday, May 27, 2019.


Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a Canadian Twilight Zone-esqie anthology series created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel. It revolves around a group of teenagers who called themselves the Midnight Society that meet weekly at a secret location in the woods, where one member tells a scary story to the rest of the group, some of which are based on public domain fairy tales, short stories or urban legends. Subjects range from abandoned houses and vampires to scary clowns, witches and aliens.

The series debuted in 1990 on the Canadian children's channel YTV and was picked up by Nickelodeon USA in 1991, though it didn’t debut until SNICK’s launch on Saturday, Aug. 15, 1992. The show ran until April 1996, and a revival series with new writers, directors, writers and cast members was produced by Nickelodeon from 1999 to 2000. In all, the series ran for 91 episodes over seven seasons. Tia and Tamera Mowry (Sister, Sister), Will Friedle (Boy Meets World), Neve Campbell, Hayden Christensen, Jay Baruchel, Tatyana Ali, Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Jewel Staite (Space Cases), Emily VanCamp, and two-time Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling are just a few of the household names who have lent their acting skills to the anthology.

Each episode is introduced with the storyteller saying “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society,” who then would announce the title of that segment. MacHale said the line was a tribute to the series The Twilight Zone, in which creator Rod Serling would introduce the episode by saying, “submitted for your approval.”

Paramount Players is a new division at Paramount Pictures that focuses on contemporary talent and properties for young audiences while drawing upon the vast resources of the Viacom brands. Nickelodeon is one of those Viacom brands, which Paramount Players will be releasing Dora and the Lost City of Gold, a live-action movie inspired by Nickelodeon's beloved animated preschool series, in Summer 2019.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Embarks on New Direction with its Biggest, Most Wide-Ranging Content Slate Ever!

Originally published: Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 8:47pm BST.

H/T: GWW.
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