Scholastic Entertainment, the media division of Scholastic, is teaming up with premium animation producer Mainframe Studios (a division of Wow Unlimited Media, Inc.) to develop and produce JumpScare, an animated horror series for viewers ages 8–12. Man of Action Entertainment, the American writer collective behind Ben 10, has been brought onto the project to write and develop. The new show will include adaptations of four stand-alone Scholastic books along with an original story from Man of Action. Scholastic Entertainment President and Chief Strategy Officer Iole Lucchese (Clifford the Big Red Dog feature, Animorphs feature); SVP & General Manager Caitlin Friedman (The Magic School Bus feature, Goosebumps series); and VP of Creative Development & TV Production Jef Kaminsky (Clifford the Big Red Dog series) will produce from Scholastic Entertainment, along with Mainframe President & CCO Michael Hefferon and SVP Content Gregory Little.
“The horror genre continues to be extremely popular and is always among our bestsellers. These four titles lend themselves perfectly to layered stories of personal discovery, filled with suspense and surprise twists and turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats,” said Lucchese.
“We’re so excited to be working with Mainframe Studios and Man of Action to create content that expands on the storylines from these popular titles in a fresh and dynamic way, as well as bringing Man of Action’s newest story to the screen for the first time,” said Kaminsky.
”We are delighted to work with our great partners, Scholastic Entertainment and Man of Action, to continue pushing the boundaries of Mainframe’s storytelling,” said Hefferon. Little said, “Each of these haunted, atmospheric stories features kid characters who use their brains, courage and friendships to fight supernatural forces. These are the kinds of stories that kids share and dare each other to watch.”
The first season of the aptly-named JumpScare will feature five distinct “hauntings.” The teenage protagonists across the series will be forced to reckon with spirits trapped between worlds at haunted sites like derelict houses, asylums, and graveyards. While the series is made up of stand-alone stories, they all exist within a “shared universe” and will ultimately be connected in ways that are both surprising and terrifying. Each story will be brought to life through a different animation style, crafted specifically to parallel and elevate their respective tones.
The Scholastic books inspiring JumpScare include:
- Summer’s End by Joel A. Sutherland – Four kids are inexplicably drawn to an old, abandoned children’s sanatorium on a remote island off the coast. In attempts to untangle the mystery behind its shuttered doors, the friends become involved in a deadly fight between restless spirits of past inmates and the murderer who trapped them there.
- Agony House by Cherie Priest, illustrated by Tara O’Connor – While her family tries to convert an old New Orleans house into a bed and breakfast, Denise is plagued by whispering voices, weird noises, and electric shocks. Could answers lie hidden in an old comic book she finds in the attic?
- The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown – Tormented with nightmares after she discovers an abandoned, segregated “Blacks Only” cemetery in her backyard, Iris’ life becomes entwined with a jealous and demanding ghost that’s determined to accomplish some unfinished business. Iris must do everything in her power to help this vengeful soul, or risk losing herself to an eternity of being forgotten.
- The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender – Delia isn’t sure what to think when her great aunt leaves her the family home in her will. But when she becomes horrifyingly trapped within its walls, she discovers that the house was once an insane asylum for “troubled” girls—many of whom still haunt the halls. Delia quickly learns that ghosts are the least of her worries though… as something even darker and more insidious lurks in the basement of the house.