'Pretty Little Liars' Creator to Pen Horror Film 'The Merciless' for Lionsgate

Marlene King Headshot TCA - P 2012
<p>Marlene King Headshot TCA - P 2012</p>   |   Getty Images
Alloy Entertainment, the production company behind "Gossip Girl," packaged the project.

Lionsgate has acquired feature film rights to Danielle Vega’s upcoming horror novel The Merciless and has set Pretty Little Liars creator and showrunner Marlene King to adapt the novel.

Inspired by real events, the book is set for publication on June 12 by Razorbill Books.

King will serve as an executive producer on the film. Alloy Entertainment's Leslie Morgenstein (Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl) and Alloy Features' Elysa Dutton will produce.

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The Merciless is a story of good girls gone evil. The new girl at a small-town high school is taken in by the popular clique, only to have them compel her into joining them in a dangerous exorcism of a punky, rebellious classmate.

"Like everyone, we are big-time Pretty Little Liars fans; and like everyone, we can't wait to see Marlene writing about teen girls exorcising the devil out of other teen girls,” said Erik Feig, co-president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

Added Morgenstein: "We know we have something special with this project that'll entertain, shock and make audiences rethink what evil truly means. Working with Marlene on the film is exciting because it continues a great relationship that started with our work together on Pretty Little Liars."

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King’s credits also include the TV series Ravenswood and the films Now and Then and Just My Luck.

"I've had a great time collaborating with Les Morgenstein and Alloy on Pretty Little Liars and have enjoyed the thrill of scaring millions of teenagers every week," she said. "I intend to be merciless with the script and hope our audience will need to sleep with their lights on after seeing the movie."

Feig is overseeing the project for the studio along with Gillian Bohrer and Jina Jones.

Alloy Entertainment packaged the project. The deal was negotiated by Morgenstein on behalf of Alloy and Robert Melnik, who represented the studio.

King is repped by WME and Morris Yorn.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com
Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27