Horror movies can come from anywhere. The Conjuring series based its whole franchise on the real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, while Happy Death Day took huge influence from comedy classic Groundhog Day. They can also come from Twitter threads, which is exactly what New Line have won a bidding war for.
BuzzFeed writer Adam Ellis told an online ghost story on Twitter, and in June BuzzFeed studios partnered with IT producer Dan Lin to produce the film, but were still hunting for a distributor. The film, currently titled Dear David, was shopped to studios in September, and following protracted negotiations, New Line have won the rights.
So, my apartment is currently being haunted by the ghost of a dead child and he's trying to kill me. (thread)
— Adam ElIis (@adamtotscomix) August 7, 2017
The film is being developed as a high-concept horror thriller based on Ellis’ August 2017 tweets (above), in which he describes his apartment being haunted by the ghost of a dead child trying to kill him. He said he addressed the boy as ‘Dead David’, produced pictures of supposed evidence, and racked up over 1 million intrigued Twitter followers.
There was a question of who owned the rights to the story, but since Ellis was writing for BuzzFeed at the time and posted the story on their website, they struck a deal with an experienced producer in Lin, who has the industry clout to get a movie like this made.
The script will be penned by Mike Van Waes, based on a story by him and Evan Turner. It’s an intriguing way to get a movie made, and Dear David couldn’t have asked for a better home than New Line, whose horror roots run deep with A Nightmare On Elm Street, as well as recent horror hits such as The Nun, Lights Out, and IT.