The project has been getting significant traction on the Amazon Studios portal since writers Michael Weiss and Gregg Ostrin submitted their script at the end of 2010. In 2011 director Joseph Tarling was selected as a finalist for his test movie of the project.
“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.”
“I’m excited by the opportunity to interweave two very rich narrative threads,” said Barker. “One of them concerns itself with the reality of the decadence of Rome and its rise and fall. The other is a fantastical narrative element—the living dead. My brief to myself on this project is to give the audience not only zombies they have never seen before but also a Rome they have never seen before.”
Barker’s 1998 Gods and Monsters, which he executive produced, garnered three Academy Award nominations and an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In 2010, Amazon entered the film production business offering $2.7 million for scripts and films and entering into a first-look deal with Warner Bros. The studio recently announced that it is expanding its platform to accept pitches for television projects, offering cash and royalties for primetime comedies and children’s shows.
“Amazon Studios offered up the dream ticket with this project,” Barker Added. In twenty five 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. 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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