The 'Momo Challenge' Which Led To Worldwide Warnings To Be Turned Into Horror Movie
Late last year a sculpture called Mother Bird was picked up by hoaxsters who used the image to create a fake viral challenge.
The sculpture, by Japanese Artist Keisuke Aiso, was from a 2016 display however the photo was taken out of context to create a backstory for the urban legend.
The challenge reportedly would find participants being contacted -- often by WhatsApp -- and urged to complete increasingly risky tasks, ultimately culminating in participants being told to take their own life and provide photographic or video evidence of the act.
A 12-year-old girl from Buenos Aires, Argentina was found dead, she had taken her own life and authorities are investigating links to the disturbing challenge known as Momo, which is believed to have motivated her to take her own life.
The viral nature of the hoax even led police and schools across the world to issue warnings.
Schools across the UK are also alerting parents to the potential dangers of the viral videos. "We are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children's programmes. Challenges appear midway through Kids YouTube, Fortnight, Peppa pig to avoid detection by adults," the Northcott Community Special School in Hull, England, tweeted.
'Deadline' is now reporting that Orion Pictures are teaming up with Vertigo Entertainment to develop a horror film based on the Mother Bird statue, and the legend surrounding it.
Roy Lee and Taka Ichise, who produced the American versions of 'The Grudge' and 'The Ring', are on board to bring Momo to the big screen, Lee is also one of the producers behind the recent adaptation of Stephen King's 'It' and the sequel coming out later this year.
What initially started as an online hoax soon became a meme before folks online lost interest, and then -- in February -- reemerged when Kim Kardashian shared the image of the Mother Bird sculpture, warning her millions of Instagram followers that images of Momo were hidden across YouTube in videos targeting children.
While Kardashian's warning was in good faith, YouTube officials responded via Tweet saying there was "no recent evidence" of any videos promoting the Momo challenge.
"Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies," the site added.
This isn't the only project bringing Momo to the big screen, a horror film currently titled 'Getaway' is in the works using the challenge as an inspiration. The film follows a handful of teens who find themselves in a cabin in the woods telling ghost stories. After one tells of the urban legend of Momo -- the prank then becomes deadly as the teens begin to disappear.
While the news of the film adaptation puts Momo back into headlines -- earlier this year the artist who created the original Mother Bird sculpture assured the world that there is nothing to worry about.
"It doesn't exist anymore," Aiso told The Sun in March, "It was rotten and I threw it away. The children can be reassured Momo is dead -- she doesn't exist and the curse is gone."
Featured image: Vanilla Gallery.