Barker and Matador page 'Books of Blood' franchise

Horror collection set for big screen

Clive Barker is taking his tales of terror to the big screen again.

Matador Pictures and Barker's Midnight Picture Show shingle are teaming to adapt what is planned to be the first in a series of films based on the horror author/filmmaker's fiction collection "Books of Blood."

John Harrison ("Tales From the Darkside: The Movie") will direct from a script written by Harrison and Darin Silverman. Sophie Ward ("Young Sherlock Holmes") and Jonas Armstrong (the U.K. TV series "Robin Hood") are set to star.

The "Blood" series consisted of six collections of horror stories published from 1984-85. The books made Barker an overnight literary sensation.

"Blood" will adapt the first story from Book 1, which centers on a paranormal expert who, while investigating a gruesome slaying, finds a house that is at the intersection of "highways" transporting the souls in the afterlife.

Barker, whose written works have inspired such film franchises as "Hellraiser" and "Candyman," will produce with Midnight Picture Show's Jorge Saralegui and Joe Daley. Matador Pictures' Nigel Thomas and Lauri Apelian and Micky Macpherson of Edinburgh-based Plum Films also are producing.

Los Angeles-based Essential Entertainment is handling worldwide sales and will debut the project next week's European Film Market in Berlin.

Newbridge Entertainment Capital, Scottish Screen and Entertainment Motion Pictures are financing the film.

Barker is in development on a new "Hellraiser" movie, while "Midnight Meat Train," which is based on his short story, is due in the spring from Lionsgate.

Barker is repped by ICM.