BARKER WANTS HELLRAISER & CANDYMAN RIGHT BACK!
Here's a fantastic article from Fangoria:
'Two decades after revolutionizing literary horror with his controversial BOOKS OF BLOOD, Clive Barker continues to not only push the envelope, but also shred it into tiny crimson fragments. With a couple of dozen book, film and television projects in varying stages of development, Barker sat down with FANGORIA for a rundown on which ones are currently red hot, and which have cooled down a bit.
'THE THIEF OF ALWAYS, written and directed by Kelly [SHREK 2] Asbury, is high on the list, because Fox is very passionate about making that work,' Barker says of the long-aborning film based on his 1992 dark fantasy novel. 'I?m really pleased, because Kelly is a very smart man, and the notion of him writing and directing this is just perfect. It?s been agonizing to see the many versions of THIEF OF ALWAYS?at one point with Bernard [CANDYMAN] Rose and then various screenplays, and then on to the animated version but somehow never settling. I have great faith that with Kelly at the helm, it will finally come to fruition.
'The interesting thing,' he continues, 'is that in the 10 years that I?ve been developing THIEF OF ALWAYS, the technology has caught up with the way to do it now, so we can really make all the seasons arrive in one day. We can watch an entire environment turn into Halloween-time in a heartbeat. We can see an entire house come to life, which would have been much harder to do 10 years ago, so in many ways, it?s all to the good. It may have taken a while, but we got there. Fox also has a horror movie of mine called DREAD, from BOOKS OF BLOOD, that the writers have adapted really beautifully, so I believe that?s a high priority. The BOOKS OF BLOOD movies that I?m making with our company, Midnight Picture Show, are a high priority too. We?ll probably end up signing the contract soon, and hopefully we?ll be making movies by the early part of next year, so that will be two BOOKS OF BLOOD movies a year if all goes well.'
Midnight Picture Show also just pacted with Armada Entertainment to produce PLAGUE, a futuristic chiller in which the world?s children turn violently on their parents, to be directed by Hal Masonberg from a script he wrote with Teal Minton. Barker?s production company, Seraphim Films, would also love to buy back the rights to the HELLRAISER and CANDYMAN franchises one day in order to get the sequels back on track in a quality way.
Undoubtedly Barker?s biggest recent project is THE ABARAT QUARTET, a multipart book series the he not only wrote, but created hundreds of original paintings for. 'ABARAT is being adapted by John Harrison [writer/director of the Sci Fi Channel?s DUNE] for Disney, although we haven?t decided on a director yet,' Barker reveals. 'What I did right from the beginning was say to Disney, ?Look, I?m creating these books, and there?s a lot of my life and energy in it. Come to me if I can be useful, but otherwise I?ll just be writing the books and painting.? So they haven?t come to me, which I don?t mind, because I like and trust John a great deal. There?s a high likelihood that ABARAT will get going at some point, simply because I think fantasy is where people?s heads are right now.'
Also on the horizon is a written project that will unite the hero of his last film as director, LORD OF ILLUSIONS, and perhaps his single most famous creation. 'I have a book of short stories that I?m publishing next year called THE SCARLET GOSPELS, which actually finishes with a long novella?or short novel depending on your definition?starring Harry D?Amour and the fellow with the pins in his head from the HELLRAISER movies. I am actually going to kill off Pinhead, so it?s going to be my dream come true, to finally give the guy a decent death. I suspect that will come in autumn of 2005.
'We have a deal?and now we?re getting cooler here?to do THE HISTORY OF THE DEVIL as a six-hour miniseries. That?s a play of mine, in which the devil is taken to trial for his sins against humankind, demanding that he be released to go back to heaven. It?s really about the history of evil, which is an interesting subject.' (Go here for comments on this Sci Fi project from scripter Peter Filardi, who tackled another literary horror giant with this year?s ?SALEM?S LOT miniseries.) 'There?s also another miniseries, which is WEAVEWORLD for Showtime, and it?s quite close to liftoff,' Barker says. 'It?s taken 10 years, but a fellow called Bob Greenblatt has come in at Showtime and he?s a really smart guy who likes the project, so I have high hopes that that?s going to happen.
'And I left a good hot one for last: I just turned in the screenplay for TORTURED SOULS to Universal. They are reading it right now, and if they like it, hopefully I will direct that myself next year.' Based on the wildly popular toy line created for McFarlane Toys, TORTURED SOULS is the first project that Barker is willing to absent himself from other works for several months in order to direct. 'That?s absolutely right,' he says, 'but there?s also something to be said for being released from the day-to-day rhythm of writing in the morning and afternoon, having a workout and then going to paint, which is practically my seven-day regime. I don?t think it hurts to break that rhythm for a year to make a movie. I want to make a horror movie; I want to make a scary movie; I?ve never lost my interest in that. And TORTURED SOULS is a damn good story, so we?ll see what Universal thinks.'
Finally, the question that Barker?s fans have been asking for years: Is anything happening with the long-rumored director?s cut DVD of the badly truncated NIGHTBREED? 'Well, it goes on and on and on,' he says, 'because Fox has 25 minutes that were taken out of the movie, and they?re somewhere in some huge warehouse that probably looks like the final shot of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. They have promised me over and over again that they will do a special edition and I can put the 25 minutes in and so on, but they?ve never done anything about it.
'The answer is, I have two pictures at Fox right now. My hope is, as my relationship warms up with Fox and we start to get closer to making either DREAD or THE THIEF OF ALWAYS, I?ll be able to sidle up to one of the presidents or vice presidents and say, ?You know, I?d really love just to have the keys to your warehouse!? And then I?ll go tiptoe in, because I?d really love to restore that material, and there?s plenty of it. There are a bunch of monsters missing, and there was wonderful work in it. There?s a lot of stuff I would like to put back, so the answer is, it?s never gone from my head as something to do. It hasn?t really worked to simply send letters to Fox, or even have my agents ask questions. What I need to do is to actually actively be making a movie with them, and then I?ll be close enough for them to consider my appeal a little more. I would certainly love to get it going again, and I?d love to find those missing minutes.'
And looking a bit further down the road, Barker is already thinking about what he hopes to be doing half a decade from now. 'I?d like the ABARAT books to be done, and I?d also like to feel that we?re making movies on a regular basis,' he says. 'Pretty much every day of the year, I would love to feel that I?m putting pen to paper or paint on canvas, and the visions and the voices are still there to be heard and seen. That?s the way I?ve tried to live my life: by the pleasure of following whatever is in my head.'
Courtesy of Fangoria