A horror film based on the creepy sculpture behind the Momo challenge viral hoax is in the works at Orion Pictures. The sculpture, which is actually called “Mother Bird”, was created by Japanese artist Keisuke Aisawa and exhibited at a Tokyo gallery back in 2016. Last year, an image of the sculpture was appropriated by internet pranksters who spread rumors about the so-called Momo challenge – a game that supposedly encouraged young people to complete a series dangerous tasks such as violent attacks and self-harm via social media.
The whole thing turned out to be a hoax, of course, but not before a moral panic spread like wildfire among concerned parents across the globe. Even Kim Kardashian helped fan the flames when she took to Instagram to warn her 140 million plus followers of the Momo challenge and pleaded with YouTube to remove any Momo-related videos from the platform – which YouTube denied the presence of. Hoax or not, Momo/Mother Bird is undeniably freaky and anyone who has seen the image most likely has it burned into their memory.
Now Momo is about to get the big screen treatment after Orion Pictures revealed it has plans to make a horror movie based on the viral hoax, as reported by Deadline. Orion will partner with Roy Lee’s production company Vertigo Entertainment and producer Taka Ichise to execute the as yet untitled film. The project will be a reunion for Lee and Ichise who previously worked together on the American remakes of the Grudge movies and are currently collaborating on the new Grudge reboot due for release in early 2020.
Lee and Ichise both independently boast plenty of experience with the horror genre too. Ichise has produced movies including the original Grudge films, Dark Water and Premonition while Lee recently produced IT and its sequel IT Chapter Two. In the near future, Lee will also produce other Stephen King adaptations including the CBS All Access series The Stand and The Tommyknockers alongside a remake of the 2000 horror movie Battle Royale. Meanwhile, Orion has been enjoying success with its modern-day reboot of 80s killer doll horror Child’s Play
Though Orion hasn’t revealed anything regarding how it’ll go about adapting the Momo hoax for the big screen, the movie will likely be in a similar vein to 2018’s Slender Man – another creepy urban legend born of the internet age. Though with its 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, let’s hope that Orion’s Momo horror will aim a bit higher than Slender Man.