Honestly, it’s surprising that it took this long for a studio to begin developing a horror movie based on Slender Man, the creepy meme that took on a prolific life of its own, inspiring countless photoshopped images, fan art, fan fiction and eventually a video game and a documentary. As rumored yesterday and confirmed today, Screen Gems is the studio that will finally put Slender Man on the big screen, though given how quickly things tend to age in internet years, you have to wonder if this horror movie will still feel relevant by the time it hits theaters.

First reported by ComicBook.com and confirmed today by THR, Screen Gems is developing a film based on the Slender Man meme, which began life on Something Awful as an eerie series of photoshopped images in which children at play are blissfully unaware of a tall, faceless man in the background. The photos went viral and rapidly transformed into a full-blown meme, with fans creating art, fictional stories and photoshopped images of their very own.

Slender Man offers a fascinating case study in memes, made all the more so as the fictional boogeyman wasn’t based on any pre-existing film, character or franchise. This won’t be his first movie, however, as Slender Man is the subject of Taylor Brodsky’s compelling documentary Beware the Slender Man, which premiered at SXSW and hits HBO later this year.

That documentary centers on the notorious case of two teenage girls in Wisconsin whose obsession with Slender Man drove them to attempted murder. Beware the Slender Man is a layered examination of the girls’ worship of the character, along with the mechanics of internet meme culture and the complexities of indicting a pair of underage kids for failing to discern between fact and fiction.

It’s unclear if Screen Gems’ film — which is being scripted by David Birke (13 Sins) — will address the real-life attempted murder case inspired by the Slender Man meme, or if it will take a purely mythological approach. The studio is currently seeking a director with hopes to begin production sometime this year.

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