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Netflix outbids 6 other major studios in $65 million deal for Lee Daniels' new horror project
Andra Day, Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close, Rob Morgan, Caleb McLaughlin, and Aunjanue Ellis have been cast.
The power of streaming compels you! Lee Daniels' next movie is a scarily expensive exorcism project, which has officially landed at Netflix. Per Deadline, which first broke the news Monday, the streaming giant scooped up the currently-untitled supernatural effort for a cool $65 million following a heated bidding war with six other studios.
Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Octavia Spencer (Ma), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Rob Morgan (Netflix's Daredevil), Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things), and Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) have already been cast and the fast-tracked production is slated to begin this year. Day will lead the ensemble as "the mother of an Indiana family whose children purportedly became demonically possessed in a thriller inspired by an actual case," writes Deadline.
The case in question is that of Latoya Ammons, who first optioned the rights to her story — which included an instance of her 9-year-old son crawling up a hospital wall in the presence of two other witnesses — in 2014. Ammons and her mother, Rosa Campbell, allegedly sought help from clairvoyants who concluded that "the family's home was besieged by more than 200 demons." Close has been tapped to play the mother; Morgan the boyfriend; McLaughlin the son; and Spencer a member of the clergy.
Daniels rewrote the screenplay, working off previous drafts penned by Dave Coggeshall (Orphan: First Kill) and Elijah Bynum (Hot Summer Nights). The film is being compared to other dramatized horror films also said to be based on true events like The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, and The Conjuring.
In addition to directing, Daniels will produce along with Tucker Tooley (Limitless), Pam Williams (Star), Greg Renker (Den of Thieves), and Gregoire Gensollen (Concrete Cowboy). Todd Crites and Jackson Nguyen of Turn Left Productions are producers.
Notorious ghost hunter Zak Bagans purchased the aforementioned house in 2014 for $35,000. Speaking with Inside Edition four years later, Ammons said that she attempted to curb the evil forces with holy anointing oil and passages from the Bible. "I don't feel that someone would have a reason to make something up like that," she said, addressing claims that her story was entirely fabricated.
"I feel that there's something very bad going on in that house," added Charles Austin, a captain on the Gary, Indiana Police Department who supposedly heard a demonic voice coming out of his patrol car radio after an inspection of the house. Bagans hosted Demon House, a non-fiction documentary about the possessed residence, which aired on the Travel Channel in 2018.