New Line Cinema has acquired “Dear David,” the viral online ghost story from former BuzzFeed writer Adam Ellis.
In June, TheWrap exclusively reported that BuzzFeed Studios was partnering on the film with “It” producer Dan Lin’s Rideback.
The film, currently named The Untitled “Dear David” Project, will be a high-concept horror thriller based on Ellis’ tweets and images. He says his entire story is true. It began with this message from Ellis on Aug. 7, 2017:
“My apartment is currently being haunted by the ghost of a dead child and he’s trying to kill me.”
In subsequent tweets, Ellis presented what he said was digital evidence of a boy with part of his head missing — a boy he addresses with the words “Dear David. He said the boy has worried him and his cats, and followed him as far as Japan. Ellis amassed more than 1 million Twitter followers eager to see where the story would go.
“I’ve never been interested in convincing anyone that ghosts are real-I just wanted to tell my story,” Ellis told TheWrap. “If it was all fiction, I probably would’ve updated more than once every couple weeks.”
On Feb. 6, Ellis announced he was leaving BuzzFeed after four years to focus on “personal projects.”
His last tweet about Dear David read, “For everyone asking if I’m alive: I’m doing OK! It’s been pretty quiet around here lately and I’ve been trying to focus on work. Of course I’ll keep you updated if anything strange happens, but for now I’m staying busy with drawing and other projects.” This didn’t appease fans at all, and many threatened to unfollow when he started posting unrelated things to the ghost story.
Mike Van Waes is attached as the writer, based on a story by Van Waes and Evan Turner. BuzzFeed Studios’ Lauren Dolgen and Hieu Ho will produce along with Lin and Jonathan Eirich. Evan Turner will serve as an executive producer.
In February, we talked on the “Shoot This Now” podcast about why “Dear David” should be a movie.
You can listen on Apple or right here: