(NYCC 2023) – The ‘Goosebumps’ franchise has been staple reading for young adult and families for decades and that is destined to continue. But now, a new Goosebumps Disney+ series is delivering those chills and thrills to a much wider audience with a more mature version of the beloved series that ramps up the terror. Last week, during a very appropriately timed New York Comic Con Friday the 13th panel and screening, executive producers Pavun Shetty (The Boys) and Conor Welch (Platonic) introduced a massive NYCC the new series inspired by R.L. Stine‘s Scholastic book series
Awards Radar had the opportunity to speak with Shetty and Welch about bringing this series back to an expanded audience. The new series follows a group of teens who uncover a series of cursed items which fans of the book will surely recognize. The intrigue only begins there, because little do they know, the evil behind the deadly items was unleashed by their parents. The producers explained what makes it different than the ‘Goosebumps’ we may be used to.
“As opposed to the original series and the book series, which were anthological. It was important to us that that ours be serialized because we wanted to create a series where at the end of each episode, you were desperate to see what happened in the next one,” said Welch “It was important to us both for sort of exploring depth of character and the character dynamics among our group. Also just having a mystery that sort of pulls you right along from the first right to the 10th episode, you know, keeping you want keep keeping you wanting more.”
In addition to the Goosebumps horror the series delivers, it also has its share of laughs. This was an important aspect of the books that the producers did not want to forget. “The thing that I remember about the books, which hopefully is infused into the show, is everyone remembers the stories and how scary they are. But, I just remember how funny they were, too,” explained Shetty. “Humor was a real part of those books and every chapter ended with a punchline. R.L. Stine was a genius at knowing how to diffuse tension with comedy.”
While the series centers around some fresh new faces there is a familiar one that may stand out to viewers – horror mainstay, Justin Long. “I think he (Long) personified a number of things that we were going for. One, the marriage of comedy and horror, like his resume is as good as anyone in terms of traversing between those genres,” said Welch.
He continued, “When you think of Goosebumps, you may not expect to have an actor like Justin Long involved, but but he he absolutely over delivers. It was amazing for our young cast members, most of whom are relatively new to the business and should be new faces to our audience for them to see this sort of icon of their childhood in the same scene with them.”
Between the horror and the comedy the series also tackles experiences that both younger and older audiences can relate. “We wanted the show to be authentically funny, dramatic and scary and have a lot of the issues that the kids in the books have and take those and kind of crank them up a little bit,” explained Shetty. “In our version, we’re following these five high school kids who are dealing with real identifiable issues that kids face in high school. But we’re also following their parents who are dealing with real issues that adults face. And, in real life, those issues are messy and awkward and absurd and frightening. And so we wanted to take all those and jam them up.”
Watch my full interview with Shetty and Welch (below) where they discuss their favorite books in the series, what scares them and much more. You can also sneak a peek at the series’s trailer and some photos from the hauntingly good Goosebumps party celebrating the premiere of the series – including some Slappy the Dummies that certainly put partygoers on edge.
The 10-episode season of Goosebumps is now streaming on Disney+ and Hulu with new episodes premiering on Fridays.
“Goosebumps” Spine-Chilling Soirée!