If there’s one thing you can always count on, it’s Hollywood’s love of jumping on bandwagons. And with Stranger Things and the new It adaptation, adolescent-centric genre fare set in decades past is the hot ticket right now.

 

Not one to miss a beat, Deadline reports Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions just bought a package based on the 1991 Dan Simmons horror novel Summer of Night. The book (currently holding a four-star average rating on Amazon) follows five 12-year-old boys as they try to defeat an ancient evil threatening their quiet Midwestern town. Official synopsis as follows:

It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic middle-childhood. But amid the sundrenched cornfields their loyalty will be pitilessly tested. When a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the townsfolk know it marks the end of their carefree days. From the depths of the Old Central School, a hulking fortress tinged with the mahogany scent of coffins, an invisible evil is rising. Strange and horrifying events begin to overtake everyday life, spreading terror through the once idyllic town. Determined to exorcize this ancient plague, Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen, and Kevin must wage a war of blood—against an arcane abomination who owns the night…

No word on whether Sony will keep the 1960s setting or pull an It and set it around when the novel was published. Given the public’s growing love of ’90s nostalgia, I wouldn’t be surprised if they opted for the latter.

Ben Poole will write the script, with producing credits going to Ehren Kruger (who wrote The Ring and The Skeleton Key) and Daniel Bobker (producer of Dream House and The Skeleton Key).

Set to direct is Mexican filmmaker Isaac Ezban, whose previous two films The Incident and The Similars are both currently available to stream on Netflix in the U.S. Having personally seen The Similars, I can say the man certainly has a unique vision. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with this particular story.

What do you all think, are you a fan of the kid-centric horrors or do you prefer your spooks a little more mature?

Summer of Night Dan Simmons - Warner Books - Mar 1992
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