Last year, YouTuber Kane Parsons created a horror video called “The Backrooms” that became a viral hit. Now, the 17-year-old will direct a feature film adaptation of that video that will be released by A24 and co-produced by Chernin Entertainment, Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps and James Wan’s Atomic Monster.
“The Backrooms” traces its origins back to a 4chan creepypasta in 2019 and involves an alternate reality that consists of nothing but an endless maze of abandoned office space, with stark fluorescent lighting and beige-painted corridors that either lead to nowhere or hide disturbing creatures that wander through.
In January 2022, Parsons released a short film based on the meme, presented as a VHS tape from the 1990s filmed by someone who managed to find their way into the Backrooms and is now forced to flee from the creatures inside. The video, which has over 44 million views, sparked a series on Parsons’ YouTube channel Kane Pixels, building a backstory around a shadowy organization that opened a dimensional portal into the Backrooms.
The plot of the feature film adaptation is being kept under wraps, but the screenplay will be written and produced by Emmy nominee Roberto Patino, creator of the HBO limited series “DMZ” and a writer-producer on “Westworld” and “Sons of Anarchy.” Parsons will direct the film this summer during his vacation time from high school.
Other producers include Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and Dan Levine for 21 Laps Entertainment. Lucas Ford from 21 Laps brought the project into the company. James Wan and Michael Clear are producing for Wan’s Atomic Monster, with Judson Scott executive producing and Alayna Glasthal overseeing for the company. Chris White brought the project to Atomic Monster and will be executive producing. Chernin Entertainment is co-financing with A24.
Patino is represented by attorney Michael Schenkman, 3 Arts, WME and Viewpoint.