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Amazon Greenlights Clive Barker's ‘Zombies vs. Gladiators’ Movie

5 Jun, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Amazon June 5 said it has approved a rewrite of action horror movie Zombies vs. Gladiators, to be helmed by horror director and fantasy writer Clive Barker (Hellraiser), for its Amazon Studios subsidiary.

Based in ancient Rome, Zombies vs. Gladiators opens as a shaman, who is about to die in the Coliseum, casts a spell that unleashes the world’s first zombies. It’s up to a gladiator to stop the spread of the zombie horde and save Rome.

Amazon Studios underscores efforts by digital (Netflix, Hulu Plus) and cable platforms (i.e. Starz Entertainment, TNT, HBO, Showtime) to produce original content to compete against traditional media sources and Hollywood studios.

Since its launch in November 2010, Amazon Studios has seen more than 9,000 movie scripts and 1,000 series pilot scripts submitted for development consideration. Currently, Amazon Studios has 16 movies in development for distribution across all platforms, including packaged media.

Zombies vs. Gladiators is now in the hands of someone who has written genre-defining material throughout his career,” said Roy Price, director at Amazon Studios. “We are excited to see how Clive will add his unique narrative to capture the essence of this story and propel the project into something unique and original that could one day be enjoyed by all audiences.”

Barker, who began his career penning plays for the theater in London, shifted gears in 1987 when he directed Hellraiser, based on his novella The Hellbound Heart, which spawned a slew of sequels, several lines of comic books and an array of merchandising. Barker also executive produced Candyman, as well as its 1995 sequel, Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh.

“In 25 years of working in this town, I've rarely had people listen to what I had to say as closely and as carefully as they did and then simply give me the freedom to go do it,” Barker said in a statement. “Amazon Studios is an innovative creative concept. I am looking forward to providing my own perspective to make Zombies vs. Gladiators a highly commercial and entertaining movie.”

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