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Fox Developing R.L. Stine's 'Fear Street' as Theatrical Movie Series Released Months Apart

Horror director Leigh Janiak is tackling three different scripts that could be shot back-to-back-to-back and released one month after another.
Leigh Janiak   |   Jason Howell; Courtesy of Simon & Schuster
Horror director Leigh Janiak is tackling three different scripts that could be shot back-to-back-to-back and released one month after another.

Fox’s adaptation of the popular R.L. Stine book series Fear Street is getting another shot at the big screen, but this time with a possible envelope-pushing distribution twist.

Leigh Janiak, the rising horror director behind the indie hit Honeymoon, has closed a deal to rewrite and helm Fear Street. But, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, the deal calls for her to write or rewrite three different scripts that could be shot back-to-back-to-back — and released back-to-back-to-back, one month after another. The plan has been described by one insider as “bingeing movies.”

Fox would not comment on the release plan, but some sources are excited about the forward-thinking nature of it and the studio’s seeming boldness to embrace it.

As for Janiak, it offers the budding filmmaker a franchise over which she will get a certain amount of stewardship. One thing she is already doing is overseeing a writers room of sorts to coordinate the penning of stories that take place in different time periods. Zak Olkewicz (Lights Out) is working on the second script, while Silka Luisa is working on the third. Kyle Killen wrote the first one, which Janiak and her partner Phil Graziadei will tackle.

Chernin Entertainment, the shingle behind Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes, is producing.

Fear Street was a scare-filled book series that Stine began prior to his wild success of his Goosebumps series. Fear Street was still very successful, with over 80 million books sold. And while Goosebumps skewed to the younger teen market, Fear Street was aimed at older teens, and was markedly adult and more violent.

The stories in the books were set in the fictional town of Shadyside, Ohio, spanned different times periods in the 1980s and 1990s and featured new sets of characters, although some occasionally made appearances in other books, giving them a kind of universe dimension.

Janiak made her feature directorial debut with Honeymoon, a 2014 indie horror movie that generated plenty of buzz and opened doors for the filmmaker, a rare female voice in the traditionally male bastion of horror. She also has helmed episodes of horror shows Scream: The TV Series and Outcast, and was developing the remake of the supernatural thriller The Craft. She is no longer attached to the latter project.

Janiak is repped by Verve.

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