There's a whole lot of weird to unpack in this new story. To start, did you know Amazon has its own production company? It's called Amazon Studios and it is essentially crowdsourced entertainment. Amazon has an open submissions policy for feature films and episodic TV scripts. You upload your writing to their server to be reviewed by their production people. In other words, Amazon wants to be the largest online retailer and the largest online production studio.
Next, they decided to develop a movie called Zombies Vs Gladiators. Someone submitted a screenplay for a feature film about zombies in Ancient Rome and Amazon Studios got excited. This will be a movie. It just won't be the movie that creators Michael Weiss and Gregg Ostrin originally thought of.
The deepest layer of strange is Clive Barker. The horror master has been brought on to rewrite the Zombies Vs Gladiators screenplay. Barker has done zombies and he's done epic ancient battles. I'm just afraid of what he's going to do with this concept.
This is the man who wrote one of the most disturbing battle concepts I've ever encountered. In his story "In the Hills, the City," a gay couple's ideal vacation in the Yugoslavian countryside is destroyed by an ancient and barbaric ritual. Two towns build living colossal robots--made of actual people--to fight to the death for dominance. One wrong placement and an entire town's adult population is ruined.
You're giving this man free reign to explore the culture of Ancient Rome by way of gladiators and the walking dead? This will either be an amazing action/horror epic or one of the most confusing and unnerving monstrosities to ever be filmed.
I'm a big Clive Barker fan. He's a very conceptual author. His horrors work in spite of their impractical nature. Film needs to be more practical than the work he normally does.
So the strange story of Amazon producing a Clive Barker rewrite of a period zombie movie called Zombies Vs Gladiators is Bizarre, but True.
Thoughts? Do you think this could work? Where would you go with the story? Sound off below.