Are You Afraid of the Dark Film Happening with IT Screenwriter

IT screenwriter will pen the upcoming film based on the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark?

IT screenwriter will pen the upcoming film based on the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Paramount Players (a new division at Paramount Pictures) is moving forward with a film based on the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark?, according to Variety. The script will be written by IT screenwriter Gary Dauberman. Matt Kaplan will produce the film.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a Canadian horror anthology series that ran on Nickelodeon from 1992-1996. The show was created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel. Are You Afraid of the Dark? premiered on Canadian television’s YTV with “The Tale of the Twisted Claw” on Halloween 1990. The series aired in Canada until June 11, 2000. It premiered on Nickelodeon’s SNICK on August 15, 1992 and aired until April 20, 1996. Are You Afraid of the Dark? was revived as a series with new cast and crew in 1999 on SNICK and aired until 2000. Daniel DeSanto who played Tucker on the original series appeared in teh revival and Ross Hull who played Gary appeared on the series finale.

Both series featured a group of teenagers who called themselves “The Midnight Society.” The group would gather around a campfire at the beginning of each episode and one of the teens would say, “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story [name of episode].” Then they’d toss “midnight dust” on the campfire. The audience would then see the story unfold. The stories were all scary, from abandoned houses to vampires to witches.

Dauberman was one of the three screenwriters on IT which was a huge hit this fall. A sequel is in the works. He also wrote Annabelle: Creation and is currently writing The Nun in The Conjuring universe.

Are you guys excited for the film based on Are You Afraid of the Dark? Let us know in the comments.

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Writing and the Creative Life: What are you afraid of?

The single greatest inhibitor to creativity is fear. Do you recognize any of these voices?

I am afraid of typing FADE IN.

I am afraid I won’t be able to finish this script.

I am afraid I don’t have enough talent.

I am afraid the words won’t come.

I am afraid my characters won’t feel real.

I am afraid people won’t like my writing.

I am afraid people won’t like my story.

I am afraid I won’t get an agent.

I am afraid I am wasting my time.

I am afraid I don’t know enough about the craft.

I am afraid people will laugh at me.

I am afraid I won’t make any money writing.

I am afraid of not succeeding.

I’m not a psychologist, but I know enough about the writing process to understand that if you allow these and other like-minded voices to dominate your thoughts, you will have a hard time nurturing your creative self.

So the question on the table is, How to deal with fear? I don’t think there’s any right or wrong approach — a writer will do what they need to do to vanquish or, at least, manage their apprehensions. Some times you may be able to ignore the voice, the doubts, the insecurities — a good way to do that is to go so deeply into your story, your experience in that ‘world’ shuts out your negative thoughts.

Other times, you can use fear as a motivator: If, for example, you make a commitment, to friends and family, whereby you guarantee you will finish this script, your fear of public humiliation can spur you all the way to FADE OUT.

The simple fact is that whatever you do, you must do something, or else fear can devour your creativity.

Two of the greatest American novelists, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, wound their way to Hollywood, and worked as screenwriters. Read these quotes below, and see if you can grasp the palpable sense of fear in their words:

“I think I have had about all of Hollywood I can stand, I feel bad, depressed, dreadful sense of wasting time. I imagine most of the symptoms of blow-up or collapse. I may be able to come back later, but I think I will finish this present job and return home. Feeling as I do, I am actually afraid to stay here much longer.”

— William Faulkner

“My only hope is that you will have a moment of clear thinking. That you’ll ask some intelligent and disinterested person to look at the two scripts. Some honest thinking would be much more valuable to the enterprise right now than an effort to convince people you’ve improved it. I am utterly miserable at seeing months of work and thought negated in one hasty week. I hope you’re big enough to take this letter as it’s meant — a desperate plea to restore the dialogue to its former quality…all those touches that were both natural and new. Oh, Joe, can’t producers ever be wrong? I’m a good writer — honest. I thought you were going to play fair.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald in a letter to producer Joseph Mankiewicz

Faulkner? Fitzgerald? Reduced to “I’m actually afraid to stay here much longer,” and “I’m a good writer — -honest?”


This is what fear can do. Strangle creativity. Squash talent. And in Hollywood, a city built on dreams, but run by fear, it can eat you alive.

My advice? Don’t avoid your fear. Don’t run from it. Rather, acknowledge it.

Feel it. Let it be. Let it breathe. Let it take you deeper into the core of your emotional self. You will discover things there you can learn in no other place. Emotions, memories, experiences have collected in that inner place for years, untouched because most people never go there. If you can get curious about why you are afraid, what are the particular animating elements behind your fears, you will discover a deep reservoir of personal insight and, almost assuredly, great story “stuff” as well.

Once you know that you can go there, acknowledge and experience your fears, and survive that process — which you will because fear is nothing more than an emotion state — what you will unveil over time in going there and coming back is… courage.

The courage to give yourself…
To your creativity…
To your stories…
Each one a great unknown…
Waiting for what you will find in your creative journey.

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Writing and the Creative Life: What are you afraid of? was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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