Last year, we announced Screen Gems was developing a feature film based on the Slender Man horror meme with black director Sylvain White attached to direct it. Now, according to Variety, the film is quietly being shopped around Hollywood.
Distribution rights for the upcoming movie are up in the air because its producers are in heated disagreements regarding the release strategy with Sony Pictures. The film is currently set to be released to theaters in August. According to Variety, Sony envisions the film as a low-budget, Blumhouse-style release in the vein of horror films such as Truth or Dare, Split, Happy Death Day and more famously, Get Out. The producers, on the other hand, want to take what might be an even riskier approach and push the picture to be distributed across more movie screens, which would result in a bigger marketing push and more money to spend on Sony’s end.
The finished film has already been shown to various companies such as Amazon and Netflix, but word is some companies have expressed skepticism regarding the finished product, particularly its commercial potential. The film has also drawn some backlash as the film’s title character, a viral meme character that depicts a man with abnormally long arms and a featureless face, allegedly inspired the attempted murder of Payton Leutner who was stabbed 19 times by two 12-year-old girls and survived. Some are criticizing the film for capitalizing on Leutner’s attack, which was the subject for the HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman.
Slender Man was written by David Birke and will star Joey King, Jaz Sinclair and Julia Goldani Telles. In the event that producers can’t find another studio, Sony might possibly still release the film on August 24.