Well, we had a good look at Hellraiser earlier today, so I thought we might take a look at Clive Barker’s upcoming projects, of which there are plenty. Barker is notorious for the fluidity of his upcoming work, with new projects popping in and out of existence like exotic sub-atomic particles, leaving no trace except in memories and web caches once they’ve disappeared. Expected release dates shift, projects merge together. I think Barker is just more publicly open than most about what he’s working on from moment to moment, as this process is fairly typical for writers.
So here are some highlights of the current pipeline:
A Hellraiser reboot is vaguely slated for 2011 release, although it has been pushed back a couple of times already. Basically the history is: Barker wrote a treatment for a reboot and backed Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo to direct. Dimension shrugged and wanted it rewritten and directed by the guys from Feast and Saw IV. Yeah, so at least that didn’t happen. A few years of rumors and purgatory have gone by, and at this point there is no reliable word on what the hell’s going on. But it might come out in 2011.
Also, ABC is apparently going forward with a script for “Clive Barker’s Hotel” written by Dunstan and Melton of Saw IV fame. Barker is only attached as a producer, so the actual level of involvement by Barker is unclear. Sometimes it seems that “Clive Barker’s [insert random object]” is just used as a brand name more than an actual indicator of his involvement in the creative process.
In the news of films that actually got made though, Barker’s short story “Dread,” from the “Books of Blood,” was adapted into a film earlier this year by first time director Anthony DiBlasi. The story is about the manipulative and charismatic Quaid, who is obsessed with the things that each person fears the most. He draws those fears out and then forces individuals to confront them against their will. The locking of a vegetarian in a room for days with no food except for a steak that slowly begins to putrefy, is one of the truly disturbing scenes of horror literature. The film version was well received at the Montreal Fantasia Festival last month and is slated for wide release in January of 2010.
In the literary world, Barker is working on a full-length sequel to “The Hellbound Heart” that ties it together with his private investigator Harry D’Amour. The novel, entitled “The Scarlet Gospels,” is described by Barker as taking place two-thirds in hell, and focusing on who and what Pinhead and the Cenobites really are. He has also insisted that the films after the first Hellraiser are not canon, and will be ignored in the writing of the novel. As Barker said a couple of years ago in SFX: “I not only lay out how the Cenobites began, I also lay out how it will all finish.”