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Another day, another film adaptation of your favorite piece of nostalgia: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Reno 911 duo Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, prolific writers, The State and Reno 911! alumni, and scribes of the Night at the Museum franchise, are in final talks to pen Fox’s adaptation of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. We’re The Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber has closed his own deal to direct.

The Choose Your Own Adventure series, created by Edward Packard, was any young reader’s dream: you were the star in each novel’s story. (The tagline literally read, “You’re the star of the story!”) A second-person narrator described the set-up and cast of characters, and every few pages you were forced to make a choice that would either take you further into your adventure or result in a disastrous end.


From 1997 to 1998, Bantam Books published hundreds of these interactive books, written by Packard and others. (Chooseco revived the series in 2006.) Genres ranged from murder mystery to sci-fi, and included gems like Space and Beyond, The Forbidden Castle, Secret of the Pyramids, Vampire Express, and of course, the original Choose Your Own Adventure, The Cave of Time. I suppose Garant and Lennon are an appropriate pair to tackle the ‘80s book series, considering their facility with goofy, kid-friendly flicks, but which adventure will they choose? Potentially, they could take elements of one story, or several, or maybe even find a way to incorporate the entire world of Choose Your Own Adventure.

One thing is certain: there will be wacky hijinks. Hopefully there will be an extra silly rewind effect to show you, dear viewer, what other path you could have taken. And, if they’re anything like me, they’ll flip a few pages back, beat the system, and wrangle themselves a perfect ending.

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  1. three toes of fury says:

    as a lover of all things ‘retro’ i must profess my reaction to seeing this posting and the photos of the books…


    I LOVED Choose Your Own Adventure growing up!!!


  2. Steamboatsilly says:

    I remember one that was in the arctic and I got mistaken for a seal and was eaten by a killer whale.

  3. BCSully says:

    I think these were around a lot longer than the one year mentioned in the article. I remember reading them in the late 70’s and 80’s.

  4. JetpackBlues says:

    This makes me remember the old Photoshop Phriday series of CYOA book covers with titles such as:

    Holy shit, Where Am I?
    Billy Trips Balls
    Watch Out for the Giant Fucking Head
    Fucking Deadwood Cocksucker
    Which One of You Irradiated My Giant Fucking Toast!?!
    The Curse of Snoop Dogg’s Tomb

  5. Joe says:

    I still believe vampire express can be a good movie.

  6. Phil says:

    I remember a friend of mine wanted to develop a series of safety films that would educate if you made the wrong decision. I was like, “That’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but you have to film all the alternate scenarios.” He was like, “What’s Choose Your Own Adventure?” I was like, “It’s like a series of books before everyone had video games.”

    I don’t see these to be very successful as adaptations. It’s not like the stories were compelling. They were only interesting for kids learning to read and making narrative choices and dealing with consequences. It was fun as a gimmick. These probably make more sense as little downloadable game for consoles. Or better yet, write more in depth CYOA stories to reinvigorate reading for children.

    I remember I always held out for a Jupiter Jones Choose Your Own Adventure, but alas. Now, that’s a forgotten series Hollywood has overlooked.

  7. Kris says:

    Interactive TV? They probably won’t go the distance on this.

  8. Sean Storrs says:

    I remember making a wrong turn (of the page) in “Your Code Name is Jonah” and being eaten by a shark.