We at TG find the current rash of horror mash-ups like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, to be very amusing.
There’s even a Boy Scouts vs. Zombies in development at Paramount. It’s almost like the old days of the ridiculous monster mashes like King Kong Vs. Godzilla, or Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, except here two completely different elements are clashing together, providing pretty fun results.
So now word comes in there’s a project called Zombie Vs Gladiators in the works, and acclaimed horror novelist Clive Barker is being aboard to try and keep it alive. As The Hollywood Reporter tells us, this project is in development at Amazon Studios, a branch of Amazon.com. Here a shaman unleashes a curse that launches the first zombies in history, and a hero must rise, like in Gladiator, to stop it.
Not a bad idea actually, and bringing Clive Barker aboard should bring this up some notches. Being a long time horror fan, I remember when Barker first broke through in the States with Hellraiser. Word was building in the horror underground for a while before Hellraiser came out, and Stephen King anointed him as “the future of horror,” much like he gave Sam Raimi a huge boost when Stephen gave the first Evil Dead a rave review, launching the director, and a new horror franchise.
Barker and Hellraiser came along at a time when horror needed reinvention, and British horror had been long dead since the demise of Hammer Studios. Barker brought an intelligent and thought provoking edge to horror, but he also wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty on the gore, to the delight of fans everywhere.
Now with Zombies Vs Gladiators, Barker could reinvent himself again, much like he reinvented himself writing stories for kids, the Abarat series, which was in development at Disney in the hopes of becoming the next Harry Potter.
As Barker said in a statement, “I’m excited by the opportunity to interweave two very rich narrative threads…the reality of the decadence of Rome and its rise and fall. The other is a fantastical narrative element: the living dead.” The ultimate goal, “to give the audience not only zombies they have never seen before but also a Rome they have never seen before.”