The Slender Man movie has hit something of a snag. Sony has already started marketing the movie based on the infamous internet horror icon and has a release date set for August 24. However, the studio isn't planning on giving the movie a huge marketing push and won't be giving it a very wide release. That has led to a dispute with the producers, who want a larger push and feel the movie deserves to go to a wider audience. As a result, Slender Man is now being shopped to other distributors such as Netflix and Amazon.
Normally, something like this wouldn't even be possible this late in the game, but according to a new report, producers are exercising a clause in their contract that allows them to shop the movie around to solicit higher offers. However, there are other problems that arise as a result. Even if they get a higher offer, and the movie has already been shown to several studios including Netflix and Amazon, whoever picks Slender Man up may have to pay Sony back for the money they've already put into the marketing, such as the Slender Man teaser trailer and chilling poster which arrived earlier this year.
Reportedly, Sony views this movie as something more akin to what Blumhouse does, meaning a low-budget horror flick with minimal marketing. Low-investment in the hopes of a higher return. But producers have more confidence in it and want Sony to pony up the dough for a bigger marketing spend and for a wider release. Sony disagrees and doesn't want to put up the cash. Hence, Slender Man is looking for a new home. If the producers can't find a new home for it, Sony will still release it and may stick with the August 24 date they already have staked out, but the situation is clearly tense behind the scenes.
There are other considerations when it comes to this movie. Steve Bersch, the head of Sony's Screen Gems, apparently likes the movie and wants to put it out there, but studio execs are afraid of social media backlash. Slender Man is credited with inspiring two 12-year-old girls to stab their friend 19 times. The friend survived and girls were institutionalized, but the father of one of the girls has criticized the movie for popularizing the tragedy and has called it distasteful. While the Slender Man movie makes no reference to the real-life incident, there still could be some social media backlash when it comes to something like this.
In Slender Man, terror strikes when four teenage girls in a small town perform a ritual to debunk the lore of a tall, thin, horrifying figure known as the Slender Man. They soon fear that the legend is true when one of them suddenly goes missing. The movie comes from director Sylvain White and stars Joey King, Jaz Sinclair, and Julia Goldani Telles.
A streaming service may make the most sense at this point. Some theaters in Wisconsin have already said they won't screen the movie and there is a petition online with 19,000 signatures calling for the studio to pull it from release. This is starting to feel like a no-win situation, but Slender Man is nearly complete and someone is going to release it. The question is, who will it be? This news comes to us courtesy of Variety.