R.L. Stine's 'Just Beyond' Series at Disney+ Enlists 'Amazing Spider-Man' Director Marc Webb03/14/2021
Last year, we learned that Gooosebumps author R.L. Stine’s horror anthology graphic novel series Just Beyond from BOOM! Studios was being turned into a TV series at Disney+. At the time, only Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) had been announced as the writer, executive producer and showrunner. Now Disney has brought in Amazing Spider-Man franchise director Marc Webb to get behind the camera for the series.
The Hollywood Reporter has news on Marc Webb being hired as the Just Beyond TV series director, which is already in production on the eight-episode first season down in Atlanta, Georgia. Joining Grahame-Smith as executive producer is David Katzenberg and Aaron Schmidt, by way of the KatzSmith Productions banner. Stephen Christy and Ross Richie of BOOM! Studios are also executive producing with R.L. Stine co-executive producing.
The graphic novels are written for middle school-aged kids, so I wouldn’t expect the series to get too gruesome on Disney+. But it would be awesome if it tapped into the kind of genre fare of the 1980s that was maybe a little too terrifying for kids, but ended up ushering in a whole new era of sci-fi and horror cinephiles.
Though Marc Webb’s tenure with The Amazing Spider-Man franchise ended up being relatively disappointing, one aspect of the series that worked incredibly well was the high school romance and dynamic between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Since the first installment of Just Beyond deals with a deadly creatures stalking school halls, Webb should be right at home. Otherwise, he’s been busy elsewhere in TV, having executive produced and directed shows like Why Women Kill and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
If you’re not familiar with Just Beyond, the graphic novel series kicked off in September 2019 with the first installment, The Scare School. Here’s the official synopsis:
After a chance encounter with a deadly creature stalking the school halls, these three unsuspecting students are whisked away to a horrifying realm beyond the school boiler room where they must unravel a terrifying mystery. Can they save the kids they find there and escape themselves, or will they be forever trapped Just Beyond?
Last spring saw the release of the second installment, The Horror at Happy Landings, described like this:
Family camping trips are supposed to be fun, but for Parker, Annie, and the Walden family, they’re an absolute nightmare!
After a creepy, unidentified bird attacks their mom in the forest, Parker and Annie find themselves face to face with two strange creatures that suddenly enter the kids’ brains and take control of their bodies. Can Parker and Annie break loose of this horrific control and convince their family of what’s happening, or will the creatures take over their lives for good?
And there’s already a third installment, Welcome to Beast Island, arrived last October:
Karla and her little brother Benny accompany their Uncle Bill on a scientific expedition to study unidentified species on the remote island but after a little “bad luck” they soon discover something terrifying and deadly living in the river swamp… With nowhere to run, will Karla, Benny, and Uncle Bill survive the unimaginable and harrowing horrors of the place aptly nicknamed Beast Island?
If the first season of Just Beyond is received well, presumably new seasons will adapt the rest of the books, but maybe the series could carve out an original path without adapting the source material.
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