It seems the studios have gone shopping with horror on their list. Recently Blumhouse Productions acquired the video game adaptation of Five Nights At Freddy’s and Sony won an auction for screen rights to the graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.
Originally, Warner Bros. and New Line had the rights to Five Nights At Freddy’s, announcing the project in 2015. It was supposed to be helmed by Gil Kenan, who directed The Poltergeist remake, with Seth Grahame-Smith and Roy Lee producing. Then all went silent, except for an update from game creator Scott Cawthon stating that “the script was being worked on, but was taking long to put together.” The film was pulled from production a few months ago and several studios started circling in. Now, game creator Scott Cawthon has posted on Twitter an image of a director’s chair with the name Freddy in front of a screen that says Blumhouse Productions.
Based on the 2014 game Five Nights At Freddy’s, the player works the midnight to 6 AM shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, similar to Chuck-E-Cheese. Stuck in an office, watching security cameras to monitor, they realize the life sized animatronic animal characters can roam freely at night. The player never sees them move, but they do and if (and when) they find you, they kill you. The goal: to get out alive. The game was so popular, a sequel was released a few months after the original. The third installment was released in 2015 and takes place 30 years after the first Freddy’s.
A partnership with Blumhouse Productions seems appropriate for this film. They have a built in audience for low-budget horror flicks, with the success of movies like the Paranormal Activity series, The Purge series, and the last two films from M. Night Shyamalan, including Split. The games gimmicky straightforward survival horror story with weird characters and jump scares makes Blumhouse a perfect home.
No one is currently attached to the project, so it appears Blumhouse will start anew.
Now for fans of a softer horror flick, then Sony’s new acquisition may be more their speed. They have won an auction for the screen rights to Emil Ferris’s graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. Sony beat out three other studios for this project, mixing B-movie monsters, pulp horror, and a murder mystery with some Holocaust history.
The story follows Karen Reyes, a 10-year-old precocious, inquisitive girl who lives with her mother and brother in Chicago during the late ‘60s, during at time of political chaos. A social outcast, Karen spends her time drawing, watching horror movies, identifying with monsters and romanticizing herself as a werewolf girl with fangs that protrude from her lower jaw. She befriends her upstairs neighbor, Anka, a Holocaust survivor. When she is murdered, Karen sets off to find the killers, a search that leads her through Anka’s life in Nazi Germany. The story is littered with monsters, real and imagined.
Fantagraphics Press released Monsters in February 2017 and it immediately received glowing reviews. The book is not told in sequential panels like most comic/graphic novels. Instead, it is shown through Karen’s sketchbook, with intricate ballpoint pen style drawings.
Bradley Gallo and Michael Helfant will produce for Amasia Entertainment. Palak Patel from Columbia Pictures will join them. Currently, Sam Mendes is in early talks to develop through his Neal Street banner, producing and possibly even direct.
Ferris received her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and was an illustrator and toy sculptor. At the age of 40, she became paralyzed from the waist down and lost the use of her right hand after contracting the West Nile virus. She taught herself to draw again by duct taping a quill pen to her hand. She now can walk with the help of a cane.
The book took six years to create. Always fascinated by monsters, she would watch werewolf movies as a child and find herself sympathizing with the wolf. In an interview, she states, “I’ve always felt like [monsters] were kind of heroic because they were facing something. Becoming a monster sometimes isn’t a choice that you have. We’re all that; we’re all ‘the other’ in one way or another.”
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is Emil Ferris’s first novel.