Global content leader Lionsgate and BuzzFeed, the leading tech-powered digital media company, today announced the feature film Dear David, will be the next production in the companies’ partnership to develop and distribute premium films with an audience-first approach. The announcement was made by Richard Alan Reid, Head of Global Content & Head of BuzzFeed Studios, and Lauren Bixby, Vice President, Co-Productions & Acquisitions for Lionsgate.
Dear David is being produced by Richard Alan Reid for BuzzFeed Studios, alongside Jason Moring, Michael Philip and Naysun Alae-Carew. Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Aladdin, Sherlock Holmes) and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback, who first developed Dear David for the screen, will serve as Executive Producers alongside Evan Turner. Based on a true story and the first Twitter urban legend, Dear David tells the story of Adam Ellis, a former BuzzFeed employee and social media content creator who becomes haunted by the ghost of a boy possessed by a demonic entity.
The film will be directed by John McPhail, whose debut film Anna and the Apocalypse has garnered a Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating and a devoted fan base. The screenplay is by Mike Van Waes, based on the Dear David phenomenon on Twitter created by Adam Ellis. Casting is underway with a target start date of mid-November 2021.
Bixby said, “Dear David is a terrifyingly creepy and sensational story that will translate perfectly to the big screen. It hits our goal of reaching global Millennial and Gen Z audiences by elevating contemporary, authentic new voices.”
Ellis’s story captivated audiences across the Internet and built a passionate, global fan base that has been waiting for the film adaptation. We can’t wait to bring this highly anticipated, harrowing tale to the big screen next year,” said Reid.
Dear David will be the third film from the BuzzFeed and Lionsgate partnership, following 1UP, the highly anticipated comedy starring Ruby Rose (“Batwoman,” The Meg, Pitch Perfect 3, John Wick: Chapter 2, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, “Orange is the New Black)”, Paris Berelc (“The Crew”, “Alexa and Katie,” Hubie Halloween, Tall Girl) and Taylor Zakhar Perez (The Kissing Booth 3, The Kissing Booth 2), and My Fake Boyfriend, a romantic comedy starring Keiynan Lonsdale (Love, Simon, “The Flash,” The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Allegiant), Dylan Sprouse (After We Collided, Big Daddy, “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”), and Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family,” Vampire Academy, Geek Charming).
A key element of Lionsgate’s slate strategy involves teaming with partners and filmmakers on projects specifically curated for a variety of distribution strategies. Through these collaborations, Lionsgate is focused on delivering a pipeline of films in a wide range of genres, including action, thriller, comedy, romance, and horror, with each tailored toward distribution platforms that best suit its audiences.
Combining the STARZ premium global subscription platform with world-class motion picture and television studio operations, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) brings a unique and varied portfolio of entertainment to consumers around the world. Its film, television, subscription and location-based entertainment businesses are backed by a 17,000-title library and the largest collection of film and television franchises in the independent media space. A digital age company driven by its entrepreneurial culture and commitment to innovation, the Lionsgate brand is synonymous with bold, original, relatable entertainment for the audiences it serves worldwide.
BuzzFeed is the world’s leading tech-powered, diversified media company that reaches hundreds of millions of people globally through its cross-platform news and entertainment network. The company produces articles, lists, quizzes, videos, and original series; lifestyle content through brands including Tasty, the world’s largest social food network; original reporting and investigative journalism through BuzzFeed News and HuffPost; an industry-leading affiliate business, strategic partnerships, licensing and product development through BuzzFeed Commerce; and original productions across broadcast, cable, SVOD, film and digital platforms for BuzzFeed Studios.