Netflix has reportedly acquired Leigh Janiak‘s Fear Street trilogy, and plans to release the three interconnected films one month apart, as part of themed programming the streaming giant is calling ‘The Summer of Fear’.
It was actually 20th Century Fox who originally hatched a plan for a trilogy of Fear Street movies, hoping to latch onto the popularity of the books and the scarier, darker tone than author R.L. Stine‘s Goosebumps novels. However, once Fox were acquired by Disney, plans changed slightly and release dates became harder to come by.
The studio had wanted to release the films a month a apart from each other, but Disney didn’t want a logjam at cinemas, and that plan would also potentially mess with the release of some of their biggest movies. Plus, as the pandemic hit, that created an even bigger logjam at cinemas, where 2021 and beyond could be stacked with big releases. How would the Fear Street movies fit in?
The series also skews too old for Disney+, so putting them on there was reportedly out of the question. Disney does own Hulu, so that could have been a good fit, but Netflix soon came calling and their deep pockets were too enticing to pass up.
This is probably the best outcome for everybody, as now Janiak and crew get the most eyeballs on their trilogy, and the release strategy probably fits better on a streaming platform anyway.
The three movies are actually already completed. Gillian Jacobs, Ashley Zukerman, Sadie Sink – a star on Stranger Things, an added bonus for Netflix – Kiana Madeira, and Charlene Amoia will all feature. There was probably debate revolving around releasing the films this October, but Netflix has decided with next year’s thematic The Summer Of Fear instead, which does sound fun.
If you want to get a taste of what Janiak will bring to Fear Street, check out her 2014 directorial debut Honeymoon, which will probably find its way back to Netflix because of this news. We’ll also wait and see if Netflix has anything else planned for The Summer Of Fear, and whether the idea of themed programming is something they look to expand going forward.