It really is a good time for Clive Barker fans. We’ve been able to see his director’s cut of Nightbreed followed a very limited release of the legendary ‘Cabal Cut’ of the film, both reviewed by yours truly for this very website. And last year the news broke that not only was Nightbreed getting a TV series, but also his short story collections the Books of Blood were also going to be adapted for the small screen. Recently ‘Bloody Disgusting’ was able to speak with Barker himself and get some updates on the two projects.
“Nightbreed is moving forward at quite a rate with a couple of very well-known directors showing a great deal of interest in it. I am on board to provide mythologies and ideas and hopefully put the Barkerian weirdness on the material. At the moment, we’re putting the team together: we have a writer, director, producers and now that the New Year has begun we’ll all get together and start to plan the long-term narrative, not just the opening narrative which is what we’ve done so far. I have the sense that, if all the things that I’ve been promised come true, there is a real passion for matching the tone of both the book and the film.”
While I remain a big fan of the film, there’s no doubt that it seems to merely scratch the surface of its world, and there’s a great deal that can be expanded and developed, so for now I’m pretty excited.
And as for Books of Blood:
“The television adaptation of The Books of Blood, a series I’m working on with Brannon Braga, is going forth, speedily, and working with Brannon is an absolute joy. I should add I think, because this is tasty, the series has been expanded from the stories in the Books of Blood with stories that have been developed by me along the style of the Books of Blood stories – because it’s thirty years since I wrote the Books of Blood and my mind has certainly not remained empty of those kind of ideas. So there are, I think, about thirty narratives which I have developed which you could call ‘Books of Blood stories’, as narrative outlines, but I haven’t yet turned them into stories. We will probably turn at least some of those into episodes for the television series.”
“What I’m trying to do is at very least match, and in some cases surpass, the intensity of the original Books of Blood. Some of those stories have a nod and a wink to another kind of narrative – I mean New Murders in the Rue Morgue, is an example, obviously a nod to Poe, but then there’s Rawhead Rex which is a straight-off monster story, and I want to revisit those kinds of stories. I want to do a new monster story for instance, something that is fresh and for a modern audience. I am hoping that in the Books of Blood series we will not only go to the most chilling and intense of the books but I will add to that sum of stories new tales that perhaps wouldn’t even have occurred to me thirty years ago. The world has changed. The world has become a darker, scarier place since then, unbelievably but it’s true.”
I still remember vividly my experience of reading the Books of Blood back in the days when I devoured horror novels. It was not long after they’d come out and I was absolutely riveted, horrified and thrilled by what I was reading. Here was an incredible and refreshing new voice in horror, and I’m not sure that Barker has ever really matched them despite his considerable output since [though I still lament the fact that the Weaveworld TV series never happened], while the film adaptations we’ve had of them have been a mixed bag to say the least. But this new series sounds like it could be rather amazing.