The ‘Dead by Daylight’ Movie Needs a Director—And We Have a Few
Who are your top picks for bringing the world of Dead by Daylight to the big screen?
Dead by Daylight is getting a movie adaptation. The movie, set to be produced by Blumhouse and Atomic Monster, does not yet have a writer or director attached, so here are my top 12 directors who I think could do amazing work with a Dead by Daylight movie.
Note: Some of these are less realistic than others, but these are my top picks, not the most realistic picks.
12) James Wan
James Wan is the immediate first thought since his production company is working with Behaviour and Blumhouse to bring DBD to the big screen. It also helps that his first series, Saw, is a DLC in DBD. However, his current jobs directing Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and producing not only DBD’s movie but also Saw X (2023), Insidious: Fear the Dark (2023), The Nun 2 (2023), Night Swim (2024), M3GAN 2.0 (2025), and a potential adaptation of Salem’s Lot will likely leave him with little time to take on directing.
(Also, I kinda want to see an Akela Cooper screenplay for the movie, as her tone could easily balance the horror and some of the more darkly comedic parts of DBD.)
11) Leigh Wahnell
Wahnell is, of course, another great choice, being one of the minds behind franchises like Saw and Insidious, as well as excellent stand-alone films like Upgrade and The Invisible Man. Of course, he’s another director that is likely too busy with his own projects to take on DBD. Still, it would be interesting to see his take on the game.
10) Leigh Anne Janiak
Best known for the Fear Street Trilogy, if there’s any horror director who could balance different time periods and genres, it would be Leigh Anne Janiak. The Fear Street trilogy is basically everything I want from a Dead by Daylight movie, part paranormal investigation, part slasher romp, part heartfelt drama about love and sacrifice.
9) Ana Lily Amirpour
Ana Lily Amirpour would be the perfect director to adapt Zarina Kassir (my favorite survivor) to the screen. I would also really be interested in her take on some of the modern gothic (or just plain gothic) elements of DBD, as well as the adaptive nature of DBD’s archetypes.
8) Fede Alvarez
Alvarez has clearly shown an affinity for cat-and-mouse stories, which is ultimately what Dead by Daylight is. Being trapped in a confined space with a killer is the premise of both Don’t Breathe and Dead by Daylight. Alvarez is also familiar with some of the licenses, having made an Evil Dead film in 2013.
7) Nia DaCosta
Nia DaCosta showcased her skills in writing and directing with Candyman (2021). DaCosta could really sink her teeth into the social commentary throughout DBD’s lore, which breaks down how systems like capitalism and racism broke down killers and survivors alike and made them ripe for the Entity’s picking.
6) Ari Aster
Ari Aster is best known for heartwrenching horror movies about grief, which could make him a great choice for adapting a wealth of DBD characters such as Meg Thomas, Elodie Rakoto, and the Twins. His work on Midsommar also makes me curious as to how he’d handle the Black Vale cult that worships the Entity and the monstrous Dredge that was borne from the paranoia of a cult (not the same cult as the Black Vale).
5) Jennifer Kent
Another great director who could tackle Dead by Daylight as a story about grief and depression, Jennifer Kent would be a great choice for exploring the psyches of killers and survivors alike. The Nightingale shows that she handles the horrific realities of colonialism with incredible power, while The Babadook turns the metaphor of grief into a physical monster, much like the Dredge of DBD.
4) Robert Eggers
I’d love to see Eggers take on historical killers like the Huntress (from WWI Russia) or the Nurse. His eye for detail could turn the DBD movie from your average video game adaptation into a horror period piece from across different centuries and cultures.
3) Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann
Mazin and Druckmann have already shown their incredible abilities in bringing The Last of Us to HBO Max. While they’ll almost certainly be too busy with Season 2, I think they could also highlight the depth of Dead by Daylight’s characters and world.
2) Andy Muschietti
Andy Muschietti has already shown impressive ability when adapting the work of others, as shown with his adaptations of IT by Stephen King. While Pennywise arguably has more in common with The Entity than DBD’s Clown, Muschietti clearly knows how to build tension and keep the audience on their toes.
1) John Carpenter
This is a pipe dream, I’ll admit that much. But it would be the coolest thing ever if the director of Halloween was brought back to the director’s chair by the DBD movie. It helps that Carpenter is a gamer himself, having a reported interest in a Dead Space movie. I’d love to hear him do a piece for the soundtrack of the movie if nothing else.
Dead by Daylight director runners-up
While I haven’t seen much of the work of these directors, their skill would also lend itself well to the adaptation:
- Susanne Bier
- David Robert Mitchell
- Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski
- Eli Roth
Who’s your top pick for Dead by Daylight’s director/writer? Comment below!
(featured image: Behaviour Interactive)
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