While they never seem to garner the attention of Stephen King adaptations, movies based on the work of British Horror writer Clive Barker have delivered some of the most memorable scenes in the genre, and the upcoming Nightbreed TV series is expected bring more of the Master of Macabre’s greatest creations to life. Series writer Josh Stolberg recently spoke to ComicBook.com about his excitement at working on the project.
Stolberg, co-writer on Spiral: From The Book of Saw, which is currently terrifying cinemagoers before arriving on PVOD on June 1st, was unable to discuss many of the details about the project, but he told the site how much of a fan of Barker’s work and that bringing the authors characters to life is something he can’t wait to get stuck into.
“I can’t say much about that, what I will say, is it’s in Michael’s hands right now and we’re really excited about the future of it,” Stolberg said. “I’m a gigantic Clive Barker fan, we played around for a while on Weaveworld, as well, and there’s nothing that he can’t do. I’m really excited for both of those projects to find a home.”
Nightbreed is based on Barker’s 1988 novella “Cabal,” which told the story of Boone, a man tricked into believing he is responsible for a series of murders that ultimately leads him to the underground city of Midian, a sanctuary for monsters and creatures known as the Night Breed. The book was made into a movie, written and directed by Barker, starring Craig Sheffer and director-turned-actor David Cronenberg. SyFy announced in 2018 that they were developing a TV series based on the story, to be directed by Michael Dougherty who helmed Godzilla: King of The Monsters.
Stolberg’s enthusiasm for the project mirrors that by Barker himself, who also spoke to the website last year, saying, “I think we’ll certainly see that next year, at least go into production next year. And we have Mike Dougherty who did, which was an awesome movie … King of the Monsters. So we’ve got Michael on that. I’m very enthusiastic and optimistic about it.”
Past adaptations of Barker’s work have been hit and miss, with the original Hellraiser standing head and shoulders above them all, although that franchise has been somewhat tarnished over the years by a continual stream of disjointed and flimsy sequels – something the proposed new TV adaptation of that work can rectify. The main issue that Barker has suffered is being too visual in his writing, creating worlds that have been virtually impossible to put on screen, leading to many of his movies coming from his less expansive short stories, such as The Midnight Meat Train, Candyman, and Rawhead Rex. However, with TV projects becoming more and more ambitious, and the likes of Neil Gaimen’s previously unfilmable American Gods doing well on Amazon Prime Video, there is a growing possibility that some of Barker’s more ambitious novels, many that run into thousands of pages, could make their way to the screen if Night Breed lives up to expectation.