Slappy the ventriloquist dummy is more than just a popular Goosebumps character. He’s genuine nightmare fuel for the millions of kids who grew up on R.L. Stine’s spine-tingling stories of monsters come to life.
A wish to incorporate many of Stine’s most popular elements into a new story served as the inspiration for the upcoming film adaptation of Goosebumps, according to director Rob Letterman in an interview with Io9.
But in an unexpected twist, Letterman made mention of a totally shocking detail about Slappy, the villain of Night of the Living Dummy, a monster so creepy he’s frequently ranked as the scariest character in the series.
Slappy recently went head-to-head against One Day at Horrorland in the championship round of the Goosebumps Monster Madness tournament on Tumblr. He came in second, but Letterman’s bombshell might put him back on top for good.
We don’t think this is a major spoiler for the film, but be warned—this news puts R.L. Stine himself in a whole new light.
In the new production of Goosebumps, R.L. Stine is a major character, played by Jack Black. The idea seems to be a kind of whimsical postmodern reworking of his original narratives to allow an interplay between the fictional monsters of our childhoods and the man who simultaneously guards us from them and presents them to us with a diabolical flourish.
In the movie, Stine has a very special relationship with Slappy the dummy, whom Black has described as the “ringleader” of all the villains of the series. According to Letterman, he’s even more sinister:
One of the main monsters, one of the most popular monsters is Slappy. He’s a big part of the movie. He plays a big part of the movie. You sort of discover along the way, we don’t say it… we’re not on the nose about it, but he’s the alternate ego of R.L. Stine.
Woah. What? You mean this guy—
—might actually be this guy?
This gives us goosebumps just thinking about it! We are definitely not prepared for this movie.
Goosebumps opens in theaters on Oct. 16. We might have come out from under the covers by then.
Photo via wicker123/deviantART (CC BY 3.0)