The release of last year’s Camp Takota proved that YouTubers have the performing skills to hold down a feature film, while Cameron Dallas vehicle Expelled proved that even without those skills, a film fronted by online talent could rake in serious cash. So it should surprise no one that 2015 will bring more movies from some of the biggest names on YouTube and Vine. Last weekend’s Playlist Live was the first large scale YouTube convention of the year and the perfect occasion to roll out some upcoming film projects.
Kian Lawley – Former member of Our Second Life and current star of recently launched collab channel KianAndJc, Kian Lawley took the stage with Elliot Morgan at Playlist Live to introduce the trailer for his upcoming horror thriller The Chosen. Following in the footsteps or recent horror hits like Paranormal Activity and The Marked Ones, the film tells the story of a young girl targeted by demons and the efforts of her family, spearheaded by Lawley’s “Cameron,” to save her. This isn’t Lawley’s first film credit, but it will be his first time playing anything other than himself. Lawley and his follow O2Lers were featured in a documentary about their life on tour in 2014, but it’s safe to say that film didn’t feature very much demonic possession (we hope).
Jenn McCalliser and Lauren Elizabeth– Taking a cue from the high school hijinks of Cameron Dallas’ Expelled, Jenn “JennXPenn” McCalliser and Lauren Elizabeth will star in Bad Night. While Expelled featured a host of creators from the roster of teen focused network AwesomenessTV, Bad Night draws its cast from the ranks of Awesomeness-owned subsidiary Big Frame. According to Deadline, the film was built around the two social media stars, as both actresses were cast before a script had even been generated.
In addition to two films already confirmed and in production for 2015, a number of YouTube creators are rumored to have film projects in the works. Last year featured a mini-explosion of movie deals as Hollywood finally decided that it wanted to put some skin in the YouTube game. So who else can we expect to see a movie from in 2015? The possibilities are almost endless:
Janoskians – The Australian YouTube prankster gang were rumored to have signed a movie deal with Lionsgate last spring. The troupe is set to begin production on a “Jackass style” prank film sometimes this year.
SMOSH – Apparently Lionsgate went on a YouTuber shopping spree last spring. In addition to the Aussie prankster posse, the company also inked a deal with Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox for a potential SMOSH movie. No word yet on what that would look like, but I think it’s safe to say that a slapstick buddy comedy for the YouTube generation would be a good bet.
The Fine Bros – Benny and Rafi Fine might be the two busiest guys in digital Hollywood. Between producing multiple franchises of their hit web series React, launching a new REACT channel featuring expanded React content, and launching their own Nickelodeon show React To That based on their patented format, you’d think the Fines had more than enough to keep them busy. However, as of last winter the pair are reportedly signed on to write, produce, and direct an unnamed film project with Big Block Entertainment.
Cimorelli – The musical sister act Cimorelli is planning to be a multi-platfrom threat. Having built a stellar career online with pop-covers and original singles, the tribe of YouTube songstresses signed a deal with Entertainment One to produce digital, television, AND film content. All those projects are still in the early stages of development, but it certainly looks like we’ll be seeing the sister chanteuses on the silver screen before long.
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