this-man-hoax

Have you ever dreamed of the man above? Late last year people started hearing about a website called ThisMan.org, which claimed to chronicle the fact that people all over the world have seen that man’s face in their dreams. The notion was more than unlikely; it was a fabrication, seemingly orchestrated by Andrea Natella, an Italian sociologist / marketing guru.

But that doesn’t mean the core idea is bad for a film. Now Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures is putting together This Man, which will be written and directed by Bryan Bertino, who last directed The Stranger for Rogue Pictures.

A press release from Ghost House says the story is “based on real life accounts,” and will follow “an ordinary guy who discovers that people he has never met are seeing him in their dreams.  Now he must find out why he is the source of nightmares for strangers all over the world.”

Not a bad idea, then — take the ‘this man’ concept and reverse it so we see the whole ‘phenomenon’ through the eyes of the guy.

And while the folks behind ThisMan may be in advertising, the site doesn’t seem to actually be selling anything. (Until it sells the movie, at least.) And what a great concept — create an idea that is vague and familiar enough that it seems plausible, and then take it as far as it can go. J.J. Abrams would be proud. Not that some people weren’t irritated anyway — check out the very entertaining reactions at MetaFilter. At least someone there namechecked Wallace Shawn pretty damn fast.

Here’s the ‘history’ of ThisMan, as presented on the website:

In January 2006 in New York, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist draws the face of a man that has been repeatedly appearing in her dreams. In more than one occasion that man has given her advice on her private life. The woman swears she has never met the man in her life.

That portrait lies forgotten on the psychiatrist’s desk for a few days until one day another patient recognizes that face and says that the man has often visited him in his dreams. He also claims he has never seen that man in his waking life.

The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.

From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams, in many cities all over the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moskow etc.

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