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Columbia Has Goosebumps, Thanks To Stine

Columbia Pictures has acquired from Scholastic Media the right to adapt Scholastic's bestselling GOOSEBUMPS book series into a theatrical feature. The film will be produced by Deborah Forte and Neal Moritz.

GOOSEBUMPS is one of the most popular series of books for children ever -- in fact, only the HARRY POTTER novels have surpassed GOOSEBUMPS in total sales.

Goosebumps has been published in 32 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.

Columbia co-president Matt Tolmach said, " Children and parents alike love the GOOSEBUMPS series -- it's safe, scary fun that is completely accessible to audiences from 8 to 80. When kids think of GOOSEBUMPS, they're drawn not to a single character or mini-series, but to an entire environment. We're excited by that creative challenge and, with so much rich source material available to us, we expect to deliver a film that will chill and thrill fans of this unique family-friendly franchise."

"Numerous people have tried to bring GOOSEBUMPS to the big screen, but luckily Scholastic never found the right fit," Moritz added to VARIETY. "I've been a huge fan of the property for a long time."

"The time is ripe for doing a movie," Forte told VARIETY. "The first generation of GOOSEBUMPS fans are in their early 20s now," she said.

The series was successfully adapted by Scholastic Entertainment for television for the Fox Kids Network, where it was rated No. 1 for four seasons, and aired in 100 countries. Episodes of the live action television series returned to the small screen in 2007 on Cartoon Network and instantly became a sensation. New GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND books written by R.L. Stine hit the stores last month and, this fall, Scholastic Interactive unveils a highly anticipated GOOSEBUMPS videogame.

The GOOSEBUMPS book series returned to the top of the sales charts again last month with the release of the first two books in GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND, a new 12-book series by R.L. Stine, featuring favorite characters from the original series such as Slappy the Dummy, the Haunted Mask, and the Mummy. It is the first GOOSEBUMPS serialized adventure in which each book is part of the same plot.

The studio will begin developing the first GOOSEBUMPS movie immediately. Andrea Giannetti will oversee the project on behalf of the studio working closely with Original Films and Scholastic.