Jack Black

Jack Black will star in a new film adaptation of the "Goosebumps" book series. The film is set for a 2016 release. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / April 18, 2012)

If you’ve raised kids in the last 15 years or so, you’ve probably taken a trip or two into the scary (but not overwhelmingly so) mind of the writer R.L. Stine.

Stine’s “Goosebumps” series is a collection of ghost and horror stories for young children. Since Stine published the first “Goosebumps” in 1992, it’s become the first book series many parents purchase for their kids. Now “Goosebumps” is set for the silver screen, with Jack Black starring and a March 2016 release date.

Black, beloved by young audiences for his performances in “School of Rock,” “Kung Fu Panda” and other movies, will play the role of Stine for the Sony Pictures production.

The film will co-star Dylan Minnette as a teenager who moves to a small town in Maryland and discovers that his next-door neighbor is the writer Stine. “When all the many demons of Stine’s mind are set free by a demonic ventriloquist’s dummy,” Variety writes, “it’s up to Minnette’s character and Stine’s niece Hannah to deal with all the evil.”

Stine published 62 books in the series between 1992 and 1997, beginning with "Welcome to Dead House." At one point in the 1990s, Stine’s monthly sales were in the millions. The books were of less-than-stellar literary quality, however, and many parents considered them too graphic. “Goosebumps” was, for a time, the book that parents most often requested be removed from public libraries.

“Goosebumps” was also adapted into a short-lived television series in the late 1990s.

Rob Letterman, who worked with Black in “Gulliver's Travels,” will direct the film.

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hector.tobar@latimes.com