EXCLUSIVE: Flay, the feature film that Sony claimed was a rip off of its own Slender Man, is set to finally be released after independent production company Phame Factory and the Hollywood studio resolved their differences.
Last year, Sony served the indie with a cease-and-desist order to stop the release of Flay as it claimed that it was a rip-off of the Slender Man character, which it had the exclusive rights to.
However, Phame Factory filed a lawsuit in July seeking a judgement that its promotion and distribution of Flay didn’t infringe Sony’s copyrights. It has now won the right to release the film and has reached an agreement with Sony, albeit with a disclaimer on advertising materials, trailers and the movie itself.
The film, which is written and produced by Eric Pham, tells the story of a young woman who goes up against a malevolent faceless spirit. It stars Violett Beane (God Friended Me), and A. Michael Baldwin (Phantasm).
It was originally planned for release in 2017 but will now be distributed digitally on April 2, 2019, eight months after the release of Sony’s own Joey King-fronted Slender Man, which recorded a global box office of over $50M.
“I’m now very happy to say that we obtained a very favorable resolution of this lawsuit and finally have the legal right to release our feature film,” said Pham.
It is the latest controversy involving the Slender Man character, which was created by Eric Knudsen as an internet meme in 2009. In 2014, 12-year olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser lured their friend Payton Leutner into the woods and stabbed her 19 times in attempt to impress the fictional character. She survived but the pair were subsequently found not guilty by reason of insanity and convicted to long periods in mental health institutions.