Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Amazon Studios taps Clive Barker to rewrite 'Zombies vs. Gladiator' script

All the news about the "zombie apocalypse," AKA a series of cannibalistic attacks not seen - or at least not publicized - ever before may have spurred Amazon Studios (an division) to finally make a move. The company has signed horror film superstar Clive Barker to rewrite its "Zombies vs. Gladiators" script.

You might wonder what the movie is about, as you have never heard of it prior to this point. That is because it has been languishing in Amazon Studios' crypts (it is a horror film script, after all) for years. Still, the idea of's Amazon Studios, which was launched in 2010, is to use audience feedback to aid in the development of movie and TV scripts.

Since the studio is moving forward with the project, that can only mean that the feedback has been positive. In its press release, the company announced just that:

"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 its 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."

Obviously a zombie-based film, the zombie apocalypse in the film arrives when a shaman, about to die in gladatorial combat in the Roman colosseum, casts a spell that revives the dead as zombies. A gladiator must stop the spread of the zombie horde (think of him as a male - and Roman - Alice ("Resident Evil") and save Rome.

Amazon Studios has 15 other movies "in development."

Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios said, “Zombies vs. Gladiators is now in the hands of someone who has written genre-defining material throughout his career. 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.”

Barker seemed eager for the project. He 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.”

Barker is, of course, well-known for his "Hellraiser" films. He is also a prolific writer.

Also forgotten among his credits is the 1998 film “Gods and Monsters.” Barker was executive producer, and the film garnered three Academy Award nominations and an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The press release did not announce a date for script completion or filming.

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