Continuing this month's theme of Halloween spookiness, here's the latest roundup of horror stories that have been optioned for possible film and television adaptation....
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Clive Barker's brand of fiction tends to be equal parts dark fantasy and horror. That certainly describes his 1987 novel Weaveworld, a story centered on a secret world called The Fugue which is woven into a magic carpet. The Fugue was created by The Seerkind, a magic-wielding race who created their secret world to hide from both the nonmagical world that poses a threat to them, and The Scourge, a destructive being that has destroyed every Seerkind that has ever come into contact with it. There is an uneasy peace in The Fugue, until a man named Cal unwittingly discovers the beauty of that magic carpet in an old mansion.
Fans of Weaveworld will be happy to hear the book is being adapted as a dramatic television series for The CW channel. Clive Barker himself—no stranger to adaptations of his books—will serve as executive producer. Barker's co-producers are Angela Mancuso and Jack Kenny (Warehouse 13), who is also writing the script. The modernized made-for-television version of Barker's story pairs together an app designer with a young pastry chef who has just discovered that “she is destined to be guardian of a mythological realm that can be accessed through a portal in an old Savannah mansion.” Together, the pair fight the forces of evil who are battling for control over the magical world.
Carter & Lovecraft by Jonathan L. Howard
In Jonathan L. Howard's Carter & Lovecraft, an ex-homicide detective named Daniel Carter turned in his shield after working on a horrific crime for the hopefully less stressful life of a private investigator. When he inherits a bookstore in Providence from someone he's never met, he meets the woman that runs the store: Emily Lovecraft, the last known descendent of famous writer H.P Lovecraft, known for his unsettling stories about the horrors of the Elder Gods and The Great Old Ones. When people start dying in mysterious ways, Carter and Lovecraft are drawn into a mystery that may prove Lovecraft's stories may not have sprung from the author's imagination after all.
As mentioned last week, Jonathan L. Howard's creepy story Carter & Lovecraft is heading to television. Besides knowing that it's been optioned by Warner Bros., there's nothing else to report, other than that the idea of a weekly supernatural television series would be a welcome addition to any channel's lineup.
"The Colour Out of Space" by H.P Lovecraft
Speaking of Lovecraft, one of his most popular short stories, "The Colour Out of Space," is being adapted for the big screen. This is a story that Lovecraft cited as one of his favorites. It's being adapted by director Richard Stanley and casting is already underway. Stanley's primary goal is to create "a scary Lovecraft movie" that also partly feels like "bad trip."
If that's the case, he's got great source material. The unnamed narrator of Lovecraft's 1927 story researches a legend that supposedly occurred in the hills outside Arkham, Massachusetts. Many years ago, a meteorite crashed there. Ever since, the area has drained the life force from anything living nearby. What that means in more concrete terms is that animals become mutated and people are driven insane.
Hater by David Moody
Hater probably gets my vote for the most unsettling title of this roundup. It's about how people in the U.K. suddenly and without warning begin to commit extreme acts of violence. The point-of-view protagonist is Danny McCoyne, an average bloke stuck in a dead-end job he loathes, but tolerates just so he can support his wife and kids. Danny witnesses a brutal attack on the street, but soon comes to learn this is only the beginning. A rapid increase in random violence is spreading throughout the city. Those who aren't affected directly are certainly impacted by its interesting side-effect: an ever-increasing state of paranoia in a society that's always looking over its collective shoulder. I read this one years ago and the intense feeling of apocalyptic paranoia still lingers. Part mainstream thriller, part sociological examination, Hater is the perfect read for someone looking to be unsettled.
Recently, author David Moody shared that Hater is being adapted by Ed Barratt and Hook Pictures. Moody himself will be writing the screenplay, a good sign that the film will maintain the claustrophobic feel of the novel. I'm hoping that this not only comes to the screen, but also paves the way for theatrical adaptations of the equally enjoyable sequels Dog Blood and Them or Us.
"30" by Laird Barron
Laird Barron is no stranger to horror. Over the past 15 years, he's written handfuls of stories that work their ways under a reader's skin. His short story "30" (available in the collection Occultation andnominated for the Shirley Jackson Award) is no exception. It's about a pair of research scientists who are studying animal behavior and the effects of environmental changes in the isolated badlands where a murderous cult committed their atrocities. As the relationship between the researchers—wildlife biologists and former lovers—deteriorates, primeval forces are unleashed that even their high tech setup cannot stop.
"30" is being adapted as a film by Philip Gelatt, who wrote the well-received sci-fi film Europa Report. No other information is known at this point, but production is meant to start soon.