The Dear David movie is officially happening at New Line. The studio won a bidding war for social media ghost story from former BuzzFeed writer Adam Ellis. Late last summer, Ellis started his unique ghost story on Twitter about the ghost of a dead child that had been haunting his apartment and trying to kill him. Ellis added to the story multiple times a week and it quickly went viral, earning the writer over a million followers in social media in just a few months.
Back in June, BuzzFeed Studios partnered with IT producer Dan Lin, and now New Line will distribute the horror film, which may or may not be entitled Dead David when all is said and done. Mike van Waes is writing the script based on the story and BuzzFeed Studios’ Lauren Dolgen and Hieu Ho are also on board to produce the horror movie, based on a viral Twitter thread. Adam Ellis’ story was compelling enough to get millions of people to follow every day, but will it translate on the big screen?
For now, it’s unclear how much of Adam Ellis’ original story will be used in the upcoming Dead David movie. The source material will more than likely be used as the basis of the David character, but will go off in another direction from there. Ellis’ tweets were later turned into a story on BuzzFeed, which later complicated matters when the writer left the website in January of this year. The site and Ellis apparently got into a disagreement over the rights, but have since settled their differences now that New Line is about to distribute the film.
Adam Ellis has never confirmed whether or not the Dear David story is a work of fiction. He insists that he just wanted to tell his story, but also says that he has “never been interested in convincing anyone that ghosts are real.” These cryptic pieces of information still haunt Ellis’ social media followers who debate constantly over the story being based on real-life or not. To that, Ellis continues to cloud the waters, insisting that “if it was all fiction, I probably would’ve updated more than once every couple weeks.”
Adam Ellis still gets asked on a daily basis if the Dear David story is real or not, but he has stopped answering, which is smart considering that will probably be the big angle that the studio uses to promote the film. The writer says that the amount of studios that contacted him about turning his story into a movie has been “staggering,” and admits that he never anticipated that this was all going to happen. For now, the project is untitled, but it might be a wise choice to stick with Dear David to capitalize on the popularity of the original Twitter horror story. This news was first announced by Deadline.