Aaron here. Word came through this morning that one of my all time favorite horror authors is attached to a project involving zombies…and gladiators? At first glance, this sounded like the title of a Facebook game but it definitely is not that. Clive Barker is back in the director’s chairs! Ring the alarms! Throw the confetti! Ok seriously, I’m happy about this if you couldn’t tell.
While I am a bit over the gladiator genre (and no, you can’t get me into SPARTACUS on Starz no matter how hard you try), anything involving zombies as well as Clive Barker will make me do a double take. Hell, if Mr. Barker is involved, I’ll even gladly give the scantily clad Roman warriors another chance.
Regardless of your stance on either genre, it’s good to see Clive back in good health and back in the directing chair!
Check out the official press release below.
SEATTLE—June 5, 2012—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that Hellraiser creator and prolific horror and fantasy 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 up to a gladiator to stop the spread of the zombie horde and save Rome. From the moment it debuted at Amazon Studios, Zombies vs. Gladiators has been one of the most creatively engaging scripts, spurring tremendous interest within the community and movie fans alike, indicating it’s mainstream and commercial viability for the studio. As a result of this overwhelming and popular support, Amazon is moving forward to develop the project with Clive Barker at the helm.
“Zombies vs. Gladiators is now in the hands of someone who has written genre-defining material throughout his career,” said 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.”
Said Barker, “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.”
Barker added, “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.”
From what I can tell, Amazon.com opened up pitches to the public through their Development Slate section. As you can see through this link, many people took their stab at providing their own vision for the gladiator/zombie story. I think there’s no better person to tackle the narrative right than Clive Barker. But then again, I’d be 100 % behind him rewriting BAMBI, so I’m probably just a wee bit biased.