Lionsgate & BuzzFeed Team For Thriller About Viral Twitter Ghost Story

Earlier this year, fascinating drama Zola was released, which was based on an infamous viral Twitter thread. It seems BuzzFeed and Lionsgate saw the success of that film and wanted something similar, as they’ve teamed up for a thriller titled Dear David based on a ghost story that also went viral on Twitter.

Based on a true story and one of the first Twitter urban legends, Dear David will revolve around Adam Ellis, a former BuzzFeed employee and social media content creator who becomes haunted by the ghost of a boy possessed by a demonic entity. In 2018, Ellis’s Twitter thread about his experiences with the ghost went viral, gaining him more than a million followers on the platform.

John McPhail (Anna And The Apocalypse) will direct from a screenplay written by Mike Van Waes. The project was originally set up at New Line with Dan Lin producing but is now set as the next production on BuzzFeed and Lionsgate’s feature slate, with shooting imminent and a final cast being locked in.

Richard Alan Reid, Head of Global Content & Head of BuzzFeed Studios, said in a statement: “Ellis’s story captivated audiences across the Internet and built a passionate, global fan base that has been waiting for the film adaptation. We can’t wait to bring this highly anticipated, harrowing tale to the big screen next year.”

Lauren Bixby, Vice President, Co-Productions & Acquisitions for Lionsgate, added: Dear David is a terrifyingly creepy and sensational story that will translate perfectly to the big screen. It hits our goal of reaching global Millennial and Gen Z audiences by elevating contemporary, authentic new voices.”

Dear David will be the third film from the BuzzFeed and Lionsgate partnership, following comedy 1UP with Ruby Rose and romcom My Fake Boyfriend starring Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse and Sarah Hyland.

Zola was a critical success thanks to the way it examined the effect of the internet on modern life within a story based on a Twitter thread. Perhaps Dear David can do something similar, highlighting how the urban legend has manifested in the online age. If this film is a hit, expect more movies based on viral content to get the green light.


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