The movie will tap into a terrible legacy, detailed in a new HBO documentary.
In an unexpected match of filmmaker and material, Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard, above left) will direct Slender Man, a thriller inspired by a horrible legacy. As reported by Deadline, the screenplay has been written by David Birke and will revolve around "a tall, thin horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens."
For the past few years, White has been busy helming episodic television shows, but that includes serial killer drama The Following and horror fantasy Sleepy Hollow. Early in his career, he helmed the horror sequel I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, so he's not completely unfamiliar with the requirements of a horror thriller, even if his best-known movie is the cheerful Stomp the Yard.
The key member of the creative team, however, may be writer David Birke, whose credits include Paul Verhoeven's provocative thriller Elle, as well as true-crime horror movies Freeway Killer and Gacy, among others.
Slender Man is not based on a true story but instead on a legend. The legend can be traced back "to a 2009 photo contest on a comedy website," as our own John Gholson wrote in his review of Beware the Slenderman (top, right) last year. The documentary examined a gut-wrenching crime committed by two 12-year-old girls, who believed the legend to be true.
Our review noted: "Slenderman isn’t some creature who’s been passed down for generations; it’s something a guy with Photoshop made. The pics were creepy enough to inspire fan fiction and DIY YouTube films, but this is still something borne of one person’s imagination."
Beware the Slenderman will debut on HBO on January 23.
Meanwhile, Slender Man aims to start production this spring. Will truth prove to be stranger than fiction? We shall see.