It appears that the dismal box office performance of Cowboys & Aliens wasn’t enough to keep the powers that be in Hollywood from coming up with high-concept, genre-mashing sagas that supposedly pander to the latest audience trends. Witness today’s announcement that Amazon Studios (yes the online retailing giant thinks it can make money at movies too) has tapped comic book and horror novel scribe Clive Barker to write and direct a demure little epic entitled Zombies vs. Gladiators. Barker, whose directorial credits include Hellraiser, The Hellbound Heart, and Nightbreed, will tackle this saga of history’s first zombie plague, which was caused by a shaman’s dying curse on the floor of the Coliseum.
According to Deadline, Zombies vs. Gladiators is one of 16 movie projects that Amazon has been developing since starting its film unit in 2010. Rather than follow the usual course of development, Amazon is employing a strategy that depends on “audience feedback and submissions to develop movie ideas.”
Thanks largely to Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead zombies are very much a part of the contemporary zeitgeist with numerous zombie projects in development for both the big and small screen and zombies popping up regularly across the pop culture spectrum (i.e. the finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones). Will Barker be able to make something interesting out of this "high concept mish-mash?" Will the movie ever get made? Stay tuned for further developments.