Here’s a possible movie adaptation that snuck by me during my “Hollywood! Adapt This!” days: Paramount Pictures has picked up the film rights to the classic Jakks Pacific toy, Creepy Crawlers. For the uninitiated / folks who didn’t live through the 90s, the toy is a sort of creepified EZ Bake Oven except that it used insect molds to churn out lots and lots of plasticized bugs used to creep out your younger siblings and prank your friends. It’s easy to write this one off but it could actually be a fun, kid-focused horror franchise in the right hands.
As Variety reports, Neal H. Moritz will produce along with Marc Gurvitz and Toby Ascher. Chairman and CEO of Jakks Pacific, Stephen Berman, will serve as executive producer while Ali Bell and Royce Reeves-Darby will oversee for the “contemporary properties” film division, Paramount Players. Best known for his role shepherding the Fast and the Furious franchise as a producer from day one, Moritz also brought Goosebumps to the big screen for Sony back in 2015 and has the follow-up film, Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween, currently filming for a planned Halloween release. Here’s hoping Moritz finds success with both versions of kid-friendly horror franchises, but time will tell if Creepy Crawlers breaks the mold or just ends up being one big mess.
The film will obviously be based on the classic toy which used molds of all manner creepy, crawly bugs to churn out plastic insects, but plot details remain undisclosed at this time. The sky’s the limit for Creepy Crawlers since there’s no real story a movie would have to be tethered to*. Let’s just hope they work the terms “Thingmaker”, “Plastigoop” and “Vac-U-Maker” into the script somehow.
*Believe it or not, Creepy Crawlers was already adapted once before, about 25 years ago, in the form of an animated series. You can watch the short-lived 90s cartoon intro below:
Need a better understanding of Creepy Crawlers? Check out this vintage 90s toy ad which comes with a pretty bizarre marketing tie-in about half-way through: