If Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, the Canadian kids’ horror series that was a Nickelodeon staple in the early ‘90s, is a cup of coffee brewed with childhood fears (just go with it), then It would be crack cocaine. All that is to say that It co-writer Gary Dauberman is working on a big-screen adaptation of Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, and he appears to be keen on bringing an edgier tone to the material. As Dauberman tells The Hollywood Reporter: “The show is about the shared experience of telling stories—especially scary ones. We’re going to celebrate that with this movie and honor the darker, scarier tone of the show, which was really groundbreaking for Nickelodeon at the time.”
Compare that to last year’s Goosebumps adaptation, which largely abandoned the cliffhanger-heavy tone of RL Stine’s novels for what The A.V. Club’s own A.A. Dowd calls “the kind of noisy, frenetic amusement-park ride that now passes for all-ages entertainment.” That approach was successful enough to warrant a sequel—emphasis on the “enough”—but wasn’t nearly as profitable as It or Dauberman’s other recent horror hit, Annabelle: Creation. He’s also signed on as a producer on the project, which should give him some additional creative control. We’re not saying that a major studio like Paramount would ever approve an R-rated script for a nostalgia-bait movie based on a popular kids’ show from a couple of decades ago, but perhaps an extra-spooky PG-13?