Though he’s more known for the likes of Precious, The Butler, TV’s Empire and the recent The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, Lee Daniels is looking to take a stab at horror (write your own joke about The Paperboy here). He’s recruited Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close, Andra Day, Rob Morgan, Caleb McLaughlin and King Richard‘s Aunjanue Ellis for a new movie about demonic possession.
While the Deadline reported on the development doesn’t mention a title, it’s known as Demon House on the IMDb, though that seems likely to change.
Day, who stared in Billie Holiday will play the mother of an Indiana family whose children purportedly became demonically possessed in a thriller inspired by an actual case.
The events concerned Latoya Ammons and her three children, who experienced strange incidents in their Gary, Indiana, home that grew progressively worse, with the children levitating, becoming violent with one another and speaking in growls and deep voices with no recollection afterward.
Skeptics abounded, but the Gary Police Department, Department of Child Services and the local church and hospital all became involved, filing reports that took the supernatural occurrences seriously. Officers, doctors and social workers said they witnessed many of the incidents, including one in which her 9-year-old son walked backward up a wall. The Indianapolis Star covered it closely as the Department of Child Services investigated it. Shades of The Exorcist, then. The budget for pea soup is going to be massive.
The rights bounced around different companies, until Daniels got hold of them and wrote his own script, shopping that to different companies. Netflix leapt at the opportunity, grabbing in a bidding war that also featured MGM and Miramax. Daniels is aiming for the cameras to be rolling by the middle of the year.