Lionsgate has acquired the feature film rights to The Merciless, Danielle Vega’s horror novel inspired by real events, set for publication on June 12, 2014 by Razorbill Books. Pretty Little Liars creator and showrunner Marlene King will adapt the novel, and serve as an executive producer on the film. Les Morgenstein, President of Alloy Entertainment, and Elysa Dutton, Vice President of Alloy Features, will produce.
The Merciless is a story of good girls gone evil. The new girl at a small-town high school is taken in by the popular clique, only to have them compel her into joining them in a dangerous exorcism of a punky, rebellious classmate.
“Like everyone, we are big-time ‘Pretty Little Liars’ fans; and like everyone, we can’t wait to see Marlene writing about teen girls exorcising the devil out of other teen girls!” said Erik Feig, Co-President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
“We know we have something special with this project that’ll entertain, shock and make audiences rethink what evil truly means,” stated Morgenstein. “Working with Marlene on the film is exciting because it continues a great relationship that started with our work together on ‘Pretty Little Liars.’”
“I’ve had a great time collaborating with Les Morgenstein and Alloy on ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and have enjoyed the thrill of scaring millions of teenagers every week. I intend to be merciless with the script and hope our audience will need to sleep with their lights on after seeing the movie,” said King.
In addition to “Pretty Little Liars,” King’s credits include television series “Ravenswood,” and the feature films Now and Then and Just My Luck.
Feig is overseeing the project for the studio along with Gillian Bohrer, Lionsgate’s EVP of Production & Development, and Jina Jones, Lionsgate’s Director of Development.