For morbid, sheltered bookworms who had yet to discover Stephen King, there were basically two names: R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. Both wrote digestible teen-friendly horror that indulged in cheap thrills, heavy petting, and satisfying twists. Stine’s obviously seen his star continue to shine throughout the 21st century—there’s Jack Black’s Goosebumps, of course, but also an upcoming Fear Street trilogy and a Point Horror series—but, as our readers are quick to point out whenever we share some Stine news, Pike’s not seen the same longevity, which is too bad when you consider how his stories downplayed Stine’s brand of soapy silliness for more mature themes and grislier, less forgiving deaths.
Flanagan confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “I began brainstorming an adaptation of The Midnight Club as a teenager, so this is a dream come true. It’s an honor to introduce a new generation of young horror fans to the world of Christopher Pike.”
He also confirmed an aside in Variety’s story about how the series would incorporate other books by Pike. “We will be incorporating a lot of his books into the series,” he said in a follow-up tweet. “So whatever your favorite Pike book is, there’s a chance it’ll be part of the show.”
That might sound weird, this being a Midnight Club adaptation, but Pike’s 1994 book is a perfect vessel for anthology storytelling. Set in a hospice for terminally ill teenagers, it centers around a group of patients who regularly meet to share scary stories with each other, the likes of which operate as short stories within the larger narrative. The friends, knowing that they’re all marked for death, make a pact that the first one of them who dies will attempt to contact the others from beyond the grave.
The Doctor Sleep director is developing the series with Leah Fong, a veteran of Once Upon A Time and The Magicians who recently worked on Apple’s Amazing Stories reboot. She’ll have her hands full, too, as Flanagan is plenty busy himself. Not only is he premiering The Haunting of Bly Manor later this year, but he’s also in the process of shooting another Netflix horror series, Midnight Mass, though it’s been put on hold due to COVID-19.