“The Haunting of Hill House” writer Jeff Howard has been hired to develop Junji Ito’s manga “Bloodsucking Darkness” into a live-action feature film.
Fangoria Studios, a genre film and TV company, is backing the film. It’s set to be the first of three projects that Fangoria plans to adapt from Ito’s hit vampire series “Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection.”
“Fangoria Studios is going to adapt my manga! I’m so excited to see how it will turn out,” said Ito, who is serving as a producer. “I hope I get to see the trailer in my dreams tonight.”
Ito began his career as a manga horror writer while working as a dental technician. Manga became his full-time job in the late 1980s and in 1998 as he began writing and illustrating “Uzumaki” in Big Comic Spirits. Since then, he has continued to publish works such as “Gyo” and “Smashed.”
Howard will also executive produce “Bloodsucking Darkness” in addition to writing the screenplay. A director has not been set. His horror bona fides include Netflix’s mini-series “Midnight Mass” and the 2013 supernatural thriller “Oculus.”
“When I found out a live action Junji Ito adaptation was going to happen, I chased after it with everything I had, because I just couldn’t live with anyone else getting there before me,” Howard said. “The combination of fear and feelings is where I always want to be.”
Fangoria Studios was launched in 2021 to develop and produce film, television and podcasts. It’s an offshoot of the magazine, which was founded in 1979 and specializes in horror and genre film coverage.
Tara Ansley, Armen Aghaeian, and Abhi Goel will produce under Fangoria Studios alongside Yasu Kutami and Tsubasa Yamaguchi of Amuse Group USA. Phil Wurtzel will serve as an executive producer through his production company Friel Films. Along with Howard, Kevin Nicklaus will serve as executive producers along with Ryan Lewis and Joe Riley from Zero Gravity Management.
“Ito’s stories and visuals are pure nightmare fuel,” said Armen Aghaeian, senior VP at Fangoria Studios. “The team at Fangoria is honored to be working alongside Junji Ito. We are excited to bring the horror found in the pages of his work to life onto the biggest screens possible.”
Howard is repped by Creative Artists Agency.