‘Pretty Little Liars’ Creator to Adapt Horror Novel for Lionsgate

“The Merciless” will hit the shelves June 12

“Pretty Little Liars” creator Marlene King will adapt “The Merciless,” an upcoming horror novel, into a movie for Lionsgate, King announced on Twitter Tuesday. “The Merciless” is similar in theme to “Pretty Little Liars,” which begins with the murder of a teenage girl and revolves around her four friends who many suspect of killing her.

“The Merciless” is a story of “good girls gone evil,” as the new girl in a small town is forced to join in the excorcism of a classmate if she wants to be in the popular crowd. Razorbill Books will publish Danielle Vega’s book June 12.

Alloy Entertainment, which producers “Pretty Little Liars,” will produce the movie with Alloy President Les Morgenstein and Elysa Dutton serving as producers. Lionsgate has excelled at releasing both horror movies and adaptations of young adult novels — both of which are aimed at the core “Pretty Little Liars” demographic of young women.

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“Like everyone, we are big-time ‘Pretty Little Liars’ fans; and like everyone, we can’t wait to see Marlene writing about teen girls exorcising the devil out of other teen girls!,” Erik Feig, co-preisdent of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, told TheWrap.

King once had a steady career as a feature screenwriter, penning “Just My Luck” and “Now and Then.” She moved into television at the advice of her then-agent, and more and more screenwriters have made that transition given the paucity of jobs in the film world and the power bestowed upon writers in the TV industry.

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“I’ve had a great time collaborating with Les Morgenstein and Alloy on ‘Pretty Little Lairs’ and have enjoyed the thrill of scaring millions of teenagers every week,” King said in a statement. “I intend to be merciless with the script and hope our audience will need to sleep with their lights on after seeing the movie.”