Interesting information has come to Fango’s attention regarding the status of writer, artist and director Clive Barker’s various projects. According to Phil and Sarah Stoke’s recent interview with Barker posted at www.clivebarker.info, fans of the man’s literary and cinematic work have much to look forward to.
“I am on the final draft of [the book] THE SCARLET GOSPELS,” Barker tells the site, “with a huge final polish to do, simply because it’s a huge book.” The tome, which currently clocks in at an astounding 2,298 hand-written pages and takes place in a multilayered vision of hell, is set to feature the return of Barker’s iconic Pinhead, although resurrecting the character was more painstaking than one might think. “He’s been denuded of any elegance that he may have once had and coarsened over a period of movies,” says Barker of everyone’s favorite Cenobite. “Putting him into a book in which Christ and Lucifer appear has been quite a challenge. My hope is that a little way into this book, people will almost entirely forget the cinematic incarnation of this fellow and start to think of him as a literary character again.”
As for the subject matter of THE SCARLET GOSPELS, Barker says, “This is a hell you’ve never seen before, and these are not places you’d expect to find in hell; in other words, what I’m trying to do is deliver a hell that is fresh and new in large measure. Obviously it’s going to have demons and pain and suffering, but I’m talking about topography and architecture and wildlife—all the other things that give texture to my other invented worlds; IMAJICA, for instance. I’m trying to give some of that feeling to hell so that it’ll be ‘Clive Barker’s Hell.’ It’s like writing a very, very, very dark fantasy book right now.” He promises, however, “ghastly and horrible things [and] an apocalyptic facing-off of good and evil.”
Looking to deliver the SCARLET GOSPELS manuscript by the end of the year, Barker hopes for an autumn 2007 publication through HarperCollins, and adds, “It’ll be a big bugger, you know? It’ll be a GREAT AND SECRET SHOW-sized book, so I think it’ll be well worth the wait.”
As for the status of the artist’s varied film projects, Barker reveals to the site, “I’ve stepped a little back from the flow of the films, just because I’m so deeply engrossed in the novel right now. But, I do know that [filmic adaptations of the BOOKS OF BLOOD stories] MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN and PIG BLOOD BLUES are scheduled to go in the next few months.” Of MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (scripted by Jeff Buhler and set to be directed by FX veteran Patrick Tatapoulos for Lionsgate release), “We have a lead actor on board, and are waiting for the guys get back from Cannes, having made the foreign sales, to see just how much money we’re going to actually have to play with.”
As for the long-mooted adaptation of his fantasy novel THE THIEF OF ALWAYS, “I know Kelly [Asbury, scribe of SHREK 2] is working on what we hope is the final draft,” says the artist. “[There is still] huge enthusiasm over at Fox to make this movie. It’s just taking its time.” The feature-film project TORTURED SOULS, based on the popular Barker-inspired toy line and currently set up at Universal, has yet to set a production date as well. “It is on hold right now because there is just too much going on [with completing THE SCARLET GOSPELS],” says Barker. “Universal has [just granted] us another six months to play with [the script], and hopefully somewhere in that time we will get it out into the world.”
Finally, Barker expresses his continuing desire to one day deliver to horror fans an “un-tampered-with” version of his ambitious 1990 film NIGHTBREED, including the long-missing footage. “There will one day be a director’s cut,” he says, “but I’ll probably have to storm the fort of Fox. The best possible chance of it happening is if and when [Fox] makes THIEF OF ALWAYS. I’m sure I will build a relationship with somebody there who says, ‘Is there anything I can do for you while we’re making this big movie?’ I’ll say, ‘Yes! Take me and help me with [the footage].’ I think that’s the honest answer.”