An urban legend-themed horror thriller titled Cropsey is being developed by DreamWorks and high-profile producer Frank Marshall (Jurassic World). For those who live on New York’s Staten Island, the word “Cropsey” has long been associated with terror, rooted in both reality and myth. Horrific tales involving this bogeyman-like maniac have been passed down from parents to children for many generations. A combination of historical folklore, old abandoned buildings, and missing children linked to convicted kidnapper and suspected serial killer Andre Rand have fueled the legend over the years.
Marshall told Variety: “Cropsey will center on a group of adolescents at a summer camp haunted by an urban legend that dates back to the Colonial period. DreamWorks is developing the story as an Amblin-esque project mixing horror and humor—à la Gremlins and The Goonies.”
Richard Naing (The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and Ian Goldberg wrote the pitch, which the studio is now negotiating to purchase. The duo is also expected to write the screenplay.
Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first time filmmakers have been inspired by the folklore. Interpretations of the legend have served as the basis for other movies, like the 1981 horror thriller The Burning. More recently, an award-winning documentary also titled Cropsey explored both the legend itself and the real life crimes associated with it.
Despite its dark subject matter, the new movie is expected to be more comedy thriller than slasher.