Slender Man is reportedly being shopped to other distributors, including Amazon and Netflix, just three months before its planned release by Sony Pictures. The movie, directed by Sylvain White, is based on the popular internet folk tale about a tall, pale creature in a black suit who stalks and abducts people - particularly children - while causing bouts of madness and technical problems with video cameras.
There have been various takes on the Slender Man character in the past, most notably the YouTube series Marble Hornets (which was later adapted into a movie called Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story), and the indie games Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival. Slender Man's cast includes Joey King, Jaz Sinclair and Julia Goldani Telles, and the movie is about a group of teenage girls who try to track down Slender Man after their friend disappears.
Earlier this year the movie's release date was pushed back to August 24, 2018, but with less than three months to go before it's set to arrive in theaters, the producers are reportedly searching for a new distributor. Variety reports that there have been "heated disagreements" between the producers, who think the movie is viable for a wide release, and Sony, who are planning a "low-budget, Blumhouse-style release." The producers are also looking for a bigger marketing push, but Sony is unwilling to sign off on spending more money.
This discord has led Slender Man's producers to trigger a contract clause that allows them shop the movie around - though Variety notes that any new distributor who decides to pick up the movie would probably have to pay off Sony's previous expenses as well. The movie has been shown to several other studios, Netflix and Amazon among them, but apparently some of those companies are, like Sony, "skeptical about its commercial potential."
They have good reason to be. The trailer for Slender Man that was released in January was generally quite poorly received, with some noting that it looked cheap and fan-made. There's also a risk of controversy due to the fact that the Slender Man mythos is connected to a horrible incident that occurred in 2014, when two 12 year-old girls lured a classmate into the woods and stabbed her 19 times - ostensibly as an offering to Slender Man. The father of one of the attackers has lambasted the movie for being "extremely distasteful" and "popularizing a tragedy."
Based on this report and the strength ( or lack thereof) of the trailer, we think it's very unlikely that Slender Man is going to find a better offer before its August release date. Still, even if the movie ends up being underwhelming, at least we'll always have Marble Hornets.
- Slender Man (2018) release date: Aug 10, 2018