Netflix Acquired The Rights to The True Life Creepy Story of THE WATCHER
In 2015 a creepy-ass stalker who called himself The Watcher, terrorized a family forcing them to move out of their dream home. Now, Hollywood is looking to cash in on this true life horror story and at the same time help the family that was affected.
There were six major studios locked in a bidding war for the feature film rights to this story and Netflix ended up winning. This is apparently one of the biggest material deals that has been made in Hollywood this year.
According to Deadline, “Netflix will pay seven figures for a rights package that includes an article by Reeves Wiedeman published on New York Magazine’s website The Cut, and the rights of the beleaguered homeowners who’ve lived this nightmare for four years.”
Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Paranormal Activity 3 and 4) are attached to direct. You can read all about the true story in this article that was written up for it. It doesn’t sound like a very pleasant experience. Here’s a rundown of the story:
It is a strong premise for a movie in the vein of The Amityville Horror, only here the house was haunted from the outside so it has parallels to films like Pacific Heights, in its exploration of upward mobility and the risk that can occur when a family bets everything on a dream house.
The article begins in June 2014, when Derek and Maria Broaddus were preparing to move with their three children into the dream house they bought for $1.3 million in tony Westfield. Derek found a peculiar welcome letter in the mailbox addressed to the new occupant. The anonymous writer detailed his long history with the house, and divulged details about the family that were more than disturbing as the letter went on.
“How did you end up here?” the writer asked. “Did 657 Boulevard call to you with its force within?” The letter went on: 657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming.
My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out… “You have children. I have seen them. So far I think there are three that I have counted,” the anonymous correspondent wrote, before asking if there were “more on the way”: Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me. Was your old house too small for the growing family? Or was it greed to bring me your children? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them too [sic] me.”
Good grief! That would be creepy as hell! The report goes on to say:
The new homeowners sought out the police, and several other letters arrived — the letter writer used the word “blood” often — and the sellers acknowledged they too received a letter recently they tossed away. Soon, they and neighbors on the block were eyed as potential suspects, and the dream became a nightmare. The couple tried in vain to discover the letter writer; they eyed their new neighbors warily as those people wondered if the homeowners were themselves behind the stalking campaign. The Broadduses never moved their children into their dream house. They tried to sell, even tried to raze the structure that the letter writer claims he and predecessors have watched for a century, and build two new houses that would have allowed them to recoup. The property was a few feet short of zoning requirements and the town, fueled by the anger of neighbors, wouldn’t grant permission. So they have mostly rented the house while trying to stay afloat. The film deal will certainly help in that regard.
That’s sounds like a complete nightmare on almost every level! It’s sure great content for a movie, though! What do you think about this story being developed as a movie called The Watcher?
Eric Newman (Narcos) and Bryan Unkeless (I, Tonya) are set to produce.