By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Sony’s Screen Gems division has planned to open its SLENDER MAN chiller August 24 for some time, but now the film’s distribution fate is up in the air.
Variety reports that SLENDER MAN’s producers are enacting a clause in their contract allowing them to seek a richer release deal for the movie, which is based on the infamous “creepypasta” on-line legend and was directed by Sylvain White. The trade explains that the SLENDER MAN team want a bigger marketing push than Sony will commit to, and for it to play on more screens. All this is rather odd, as Sony has been aggressively selling SLENDER MAN—the trailer and posters (seen below) have already been in theaters for months—and all indications were that the film was set for a wide U.S. break.
The producers have reportedly screened the movie for a number of studios and streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon, and some who have seen it are dubious about its commercial prospects. Part of the issue is that the Slender Man phenomenon has incited a real-life 2014 tragedy, in which two schoolgirls repeatedly stabbed and nearly killed a classmate (as documented in HBO’s BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN). Even though SLENDER MAN tells a fictional story, there has already been online controversy and a petition established to stop its release. Sony may still open SLENDER MAN as intended if another distributor doesn’t meet the producers’ terms; stay tuned for further updates.