The mythical figure said to have inspired the real-life attempted murder of a 12-year-old Wisconsin girl is heading to the big screen.
On Wednesday, Sony Pictures released a trailer for a Slender Man movie, which is expected to come out this May.
Slender Man is one of the internet's boogie men. The unnaturally tall, slim, and faceless figure in a plain gray suit was originally created for a Photoshop contest on the horror story website, Creepypasta, around 2009.
After that, he became the subject of many online stories, art, and videos, in which he is portrayed stalking, abducting, and traumatizing children.
The creation became mainstream knowledge in the spring of 2014, after a devastating attack in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Payton Leutner was lured into the woods by her friends, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, and stabbed 19 times.
Leutner crawled away and miraculously survived. All three girls were 12 years old.
Weier's father speaks out against film
With the film officially in the works, Anissa Weier's father is speaking out against it.
He told the Associated Press that making the movie is in "extreme poor taste" given the incident, and that local theaters shouldn't show it.
Although it isn't totally clear from the trailer whether the film will include any elements from the Wisconsin case, the Associated Press notes how one scene shows a wall is covered with drawings of Slender Man that resemble sketches Morgan Geyser drew.
The Sony production marks the first full-length feature built around the character, the Chicago Tribune notes.
Here's the trailer:
The cases in the Wisconsin stabbing
The case drew a frenzy of national attention because the girls admitted to planning to kill the victim for several months – in the name of Slender Man.
After the attack, they told police they needed to kill a person in order to show their dedication to Slender Man. They reportedly believed Slender Man was a real person and that after they killed the victim, they were planning to walk to his mansion and become his followers.
Both were charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Geier pleaded guilty, but said she wasn’t responsible for her actions due to mental illness. In September, a jury deemed her mentally ill and unfit for prison, and she was sentenced to 25 years in a mental institution.
Geyser, now 15, also pleaded guilty and is expected to receive 40 years in a mental hospital when she's sentenced in February.
After the 2014 stabbing, the artist who created Slender Man, Eric Knudsen, said in a statement that he was "deeply saddened" by the brutal crime.