05/06/2012. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Hellraiser creator and horror writer Clive Barker will rewrite the action horror project, Zombies vs. Gladiators, for Amazon Studios. Based in ancient Rome, the Zombies vs. Gladiators story opens as a shaman who is about to die in the Coliseum casts a spell that unleashes the world’s first zombies.
It’s then up to a gladiator to stop the spread of the zombie horde and save Rome.
Barker said, “I’m excited by the opportunity to interweave two very rich narrative threads. One of them concerns itself with the reality of the decadence of Rome and its rise and fall. The other is a fantastical narrative element - the living dead. My brief to myself on this project is to give the audience not only zombies they have never seen before but also a Rome they have never seen before. Amazon Studios offered up the dream ticket with this project. In twenty-five years of working in this town, I've rarely had people listen to what I had to say as closely and as carefully as they did and then simply give me the freedom to go do it. Amazon Studios is an innovative creative concept. I am looking forward to providing my own perspective to make Zombies vs. Gladiators a highly commercial and entertaining movie.”
“Zombies vs. Gladiators is now in the hands of someone who has written genre-defining material throughout his career,” added Roy Price, director, Amazon Studios. “We are excited to see how Clive will add his unique narrative to capture the essence of this story and propel the project into something unique and original that could one day be enjoyed by all audiences.”
Clive Barker's 1998 “Gods and Monsters,” which he executive produced, garnered three Academy Award nominations and an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The following year, Barker joined the ranks of such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Annie Dillard and Aldous Huxley when his collection of literary works was inducted into the Perennial line at HarperCollins, who then published The Essential Clive Barker, a 700-page anthology with an introduction by Armistead Maupin.
Barker began his odyssey in the London theatre, scripting original plays for his group The Dog Company, including “The History of the Devil,” “Frankenstein in Love” and “Crazyface.” Soon, Barker began publishing his The Books of Blood short fiction collections, but it was his debut novel, The Damnation Game, that widened his already growing international audience.
Barker shifted gears in 1987 when he directed “Hellraiser,” based on his novella The Hellbound Heart, which became a veritable cult classic spawning a slew of sequels, several lines of comic books, and an array of merchandising. In 1990, he adapted and directed “Nightbreed” from his short story Cabal. Two years later, Barker executive produced the housing-project story “Candyman,” as well as the 1995 sequel, “Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh.” Also that year, he directed Scott Bakula and Famke Janssen in the noir-esque detective tale, “Lord of Illusions.”
Barker’s literary works include such fantasies as Weaveworld, Imajica, and Everville, the children’s novel The Thief of Always, Sacrament, Galilee and Coldheart Canyon. The first of his quartet of children’s books, Abarat, was published in October 2002 to resounding critical acclaim, followed by Abarat II: Days of Magic, Nights of War and Arabat III: Absolute Midnight; Barker is currently completing the fourth in the series. As an artist, Barker frequently turns to the canvas to fuel his imagination with hugely successful exhibitions across America. His neo-expressionist paintings have been showcased in two large format books, Clive Barker, Illustrator, volumes I & II.
Barker is repped by APA, manager Andrew Wilson at Zero Gravity, and Alan Grodin at Weissmann Wolff Bergman Coleman Grodin & Evall.
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