Clive Barker to Rewrite 'Zombies vs. Gladiators' for Amazon Studios
by Ben Pearson
June 5, 2012
Zombies are on the rise (pun intended) in all sorts of modern settings these days, but if you've ever wondered what the stumbling undead would look like wandering around in a different time period altogether, today's your lucky day. Amazon Studios is teaming with Hellraiser writer/director Clive Barker to rewrite Zombies vs. Gladiators, the latest mash-up genre film to be developed by a studio. The story takes place in ancient Rome, when a dying shaman in the Coliseum casts a spell that creates the world's first zombies. Against all odds, a gladiator must fight to stop the horde and save Rome. Read on!
If you're like me, you're probably getting tired of all of these "versus" movies that have been announced recently. Barry Sonnenfeld is directing Dominion: Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes is working on Zombies vs. Robots, blah blah blah. Hollywood execs think they can find all these buzzwords and make an entertaining movie by tossing them together, but it doesn't always work out like that. And if you don't believe me, just ask Cowboys & Aliens from last summer.
As for Barker, he's best known for writing horror stories and directing Hellraiser (which, coincidentally, we just talked about on this week's episode of my podcast), so it'll be pretty fascinating to see if he can infuse this ridiculous concept with any sort of real stakes or reason for us to care about any of the characters beyond the gimmick. Remember this project is coming from Amazon Studios, which is essentially a crowd-based studio that accepts unsolicited scripts from anyone and tries to make a full-length feature out of it. This project totally sounds like fanboy fan fiction, but we'll see if Barker can add anything to the material. We'll keep you posted as Zombies vs. Gladiators makes its way through development.