spire in the woods movie

Six years ago, a series of posts popped up on the “no sleep” subReddit, the forum for writers to share original horror stories that are so terrifying that they give you, well, no sleep. But this story, titled “Spire in the Woods,” was different than most. Following a teen boy who is convinced that the suicide of a schoolmate may be connected to a local legend, the story captivated thousands of readers until it spread past Reddit and became a viral phenomenon. The author Tony Lunedi published the story as a book in 2017 and now, it’s caught the eye of legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg himself.

Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is developing a Spire in the Woods movie, based on the viral Reddit ghost story. Now there’s a sentence you probably thought you’d never read.

Variety broke the news that Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is teaming up with Roy Lee and Jon Berg to adapt Spire in the Woods into a feature film in a project now known as The Bells. Amblin acquired the movie rights to Lunedi’s story following the book’s publication in 2017.

Spire in the Woods was first published as a series of 10 Reddit articles in 2013 and centers on a teen boy searching for the cause of his friend’s suicide. But soon he becomes embroiled in a beguiling ghost story which may have deadly consequences.

Here is the official synopsis for the Spire in the Woods book:

After discovering the suicide of a schoolmate may be connected to a local legend, a young man embarks on a quest to discover the truth. Why had Robert Edward Kennan killed himself? Was it because of a failed relationship or something more insidious? Based on actual events, the Spire in the Woods is equal parts coming of age and ghost story. A candid account of one man’s struggles with his mental health, his obsession with the supernatural, and the single biggest regret of his life.

The story is intriguing. Ghost stories are a well-worn classic for the genre, but having the digital origin does give Spire in the Woods a fresh twist. But with Amblin behind this project, could it truly become as terrifying as the original story? Spielberg’s studio is synonymous with family-friendly and prestige film fare, but Spire in the Woods could become one of the rare instances where they get dark.

This is truly a feature film project for the digital age, but with everything from podcasts, to YouTube web series getting turned into high-profile TV series and movies, it’s not surprising. This isn’t the first time a Reddit story has been targeted for a screen adaptation — most recently Ryan Reynolds was set to produce another “nosleep” story — and the Syfy series Channel Zero built its brand off of mining “creepypasta” stories for its acclaimed horror anthology series. These probably won’t be the last we’ll see of Reddit making it to the big screen either. As long as Hollywood stays far away from the incel pages.

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