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Two get hands on 'Goosebumps'

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Writing duo Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander are in negotiations to write the live-action big-screen adaptation of the children's book horror series "Goosebumps" for Columbia Pictures.

Neal Moritz and his Sony-based Original Film shingle is producing, as is Scholastic Entertainment's Deborah Forte.

Karaszewski and Alexander are expected to close their deal this week.

While TV and straight-to-video versions of the R.L. Stine book series have been made, the project will mark the first feature adaptation of the series and could become a franchise for Columbia, which acquired the rights in May.

The "Goosebumps" series — which comprises more than 50 books that often pay homage to classic sci-fi/horror movies such as "Night of the Living Dead" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" as well as the twist endings of "The Twilight Zone" — have grossed hundreds of millions for Stine and Scholastic, second only to the "Harry Potter" series. Stine recently published a new 12-book series, "Goosebumps in HorrorLand," and Scholastic plans to launch a video game in the fall.

Moritz has said he likely will cast youngsters for the leads and then include well-known actors in supporting roles, a la the "Potter" films.

Karaszewski and Alexander are best known for their penmanship on "Ed Wood," "Man on the Moon" and "The People vs. Larry Flynt," the latter of which earned them a Golden Globe. The pair are repped by Endeavor. (partialdiff)