It was probably inevitable. According to Deadline, the Momo Challenge–a viral internet hoax that has been haunting social media since last summer–is getting its own movie. In an era when Hollywood eventually takes every scary internet urban legend to the big screen ( think Slenderman, for instance), it was only a matter of time before that iconically creepy face came to cinemas.
Orion Pictures and Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment are teaming up to bring the Momo Challenge to life, with Taka Ichise producing. Lee and Ichise previously collaborated on both The Ring and The Grudge series, and Lee produced It: Chapter One and its upcoming sequel.
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If you’re unfamiliar, the Momo Challenge is a viral game shared on message services like WhatsApp that allegedly presents young people with a series of challenges that lead to violence and suicide. The messages are said to be prompted by the image of a creepy-looking woman with popped-out eyes and chicken feet, who appears at random and lures people into her mysterious web game, which she asks them to record. In fact, YouTube has shot down the rumors, tweeting earlier this year that they’ve seen no proof that the game is real or actually convincing young people to commit crimes on video. But the lore around Momo has become the stuff of internet legend.
The image of the frightening woman is actually a sculpture called “Mother Bird”. Japanese artist Keisuke Aisawa made it in 2016, part of an exhibit in Tokyo. No word yet if the sculpture will be incorporated into the lore of the film, or if Aisawa will be involved in production, but we have to imagine you can’t make a Momo movie without that iconic face ingrained in the marketing.
We’ll have our eyes open–super, super wide–as more news on the Momo Challenge movie becomes available.
Images: Keisuka Aisawa/Link Factory