A few days ago at CinemaCon, I landed an exclusive video interview with Goosebumps director Rob Letterman and producer Neal H. Moritz. They talked about adapting R.L. Stine‘s books, the development process, how Letterman wanted to make a “classic, Amblin-esque” film, the test screening process (where it scored a 95 and a 96!), where they’re at in post-production, Comic-Con, casting Jack Black, and a lot more.
If you’re not familiar with Goosebumps, author R.L. Stine’s series of books were a staple of nearly every 90s kid’s childhood. They had just the right amount of darkness and creepiness while still being accessible, and the twist endings recalled episodes of The Twilight Zone. The film will feature Black as Stine and will involve the author’s creations unexpectedly coming to life thanks to a teen neighbor (Dylan Minnette). Subsequently, Stine must team up with his daughter (Odeya Rush) and Minnette’s character in order to stop the numerous and varied monsters before they destroy their small town. The film also stars Jillian Bell, Amy Ryan, Ken Marino, and Ryan Lee.
Here’s Neal Moritz and Rob Letterman followed by the time index of the interview:
- :12 – Moritz says, “I love this movie as much as any movie I’ve ever made.”
- :23 – Talk about the lengthy development process and the challenge of coming up with a good idea for a Goosebumps movie.
- 1:17 – How much did the project change from the time Rob came on board to the final film?
- 2:23 – Rob says they wanted to make a “classic, Amblin-esque” film.
- 2:35 – What did they learn from test screenings? Moritz said they learned one major thing and changed something than the very end, other than that they knew they had a winner.
- 3:25 – Says they scored a 95 or a 96 at the test screening.
- 4:09 – Where are they in the post-production process? Talk about the beautiful visual effects.
- 4:35 – Is the film all scored or are there any songs? Majority is scored by Danny Elfman.
- 4:49 – Most of the movie takes place over one night.
- 4:54 – Why was Jack Black the right guy to play R.L. Stine?
- 6:03 – How long was the first cut and how long is the finished film?
- 6:45 – They’re not sure if they’re going to Comic-Con yet.
- 7:08 – Talk about Furious 7 crossing the $1 Billion line.
- 7:23 – When will fans hear more about Furious 8?
- 7:58 – They don’t know if James Wan will come back yet.
- 8:12 – Moritz says they’re working on the Jump Street/Men in Black crossover and he loves the idea.
- 8:35 – How heavily involved was the studio in the production of Goosebumps?
- 9:17 – What’s the worst job they ever had before they got into Hollywood?
- 10:25 – Talk about putting together the cast around Jack Black and doing a ton of chemistry reads with the kids.
- 11:21 – They didn’t do any table reads for the film. Talk about reworking the script through the rehearsal process.
- 12:25 – What would people be surprised to learn about them?