Goosebumps 2023 is Universal
A new start to the Goosebumps franchise means new love for generations of Goosebumps fans and hope for a lot more. Executive Producers Rob Letterman, Nicholas Stoller, and producer/writer Hillary Winston were on hand at New York Comic Con 2023 to talk about it.
The Feeling and Truth About Goosebumps is Ageless
Sharing their excitement about the revival of Goosebumps, Disney’s involvement, fan expectations, the family-friendly quotient, and hope for the franchise’s future was at the top of the discussion list for creators at New York Comic Con 2023. Letterman, director of the 2015 Goosebumps film, explained they are very hopeful for more seasons, considering there are so many books, it appears there are so many inspirations to move forward with. Considering this, they worked hard to find what they considered were the best books to create the main characters’ origin stories in the first few episodes.
As far as keeping the stories as kid-friendly as they were meant to be but still trying to give multiple generations a thrill, Letterman said, “This show is aged up a bit. The original series was really middle school, but we kind of found we wanted to increase the stakes. We wanted to go deeper; we wanted to have more of a coming-of-age type of thing of going into adulthood. Also, some fans grew up on the books who are still fans of the books in their 30s and 40s that we wanted to speak to, and it’s just a bigger audience now, and this just felt like the right place to put it (the story) on.
Winston explained that the scariest things are the things you don’t see. According to creator Nicholas Stoller, when Disney was asked how far the show could go, in terms of scare factor, creators were told just to go for it, and Disney would let them know if and when things went further than was comfortable. “There really is nothing scarier than high school, so no matter what we say, no monster is scarier than your everyday life. This is a safe, scary show…It’s a fun ride, and when it’s over, it’s over.”
Letterman said, “When we start talking about the series, we wanted to really embrace the books more deeply. We wanted to follow characters living with these stories and totems a bit more. The books lend themselves to that. They’re very cinematic. We wanted to do something fresh. There is a lot of stuff on Goosebumps, but we wanted to be different, so it’s just a grounded, gritty, realistic vibe that felt like the right way to go.”
When asked how the cast and their performances influenced the show, Letterman explained that they got very lucky with the cast. “Their performances were incredible, it elevates everything we did on the page. We got to know them early on, and they got to know each other, and that friendship onscreen is what was happening offscreen. I think that influenced the writing quite a bit. We always try to lean into the actors and what they bring and their ideas.”
Stream Goosebumps on Freeform, Hulu, and Disney+ this weekend!
Goosebumps (2023) Official Disney+ Trailer