Halloween may be over, but the scares aren’t! Variety has reported that Clive Barker’s massive horror short-story collection, Books of Blood, is being turned into a feature film for Hulu by the creators of Salem, Brannon Braga and Adam Simon.
With Books of Blood spanning six volumes and 30 stories, there was no way they could have fit it all into one movie. Instead, director Braga (in his feature film debut) and his co-writer Simon are only focusing on three stories. From the character descriptions provided by Variety, it looks like none of these tales are actually taken directly from Books of Blood. Rather, they appear to be a mix of Barker’s ideas and original material, coming down heavily on the side of original material.
According to Variety, Anna Friel will play “Mary,” a psychologist who specializes in debunking paranormal and pseudoscientific theories. When she loses her 7-year-old child to leukemia, her new lover “Simon” (Rafi Gavron) convinces her he’s a “ghost whisperer” who can speak for her child. While both of these names are taken from “The Book of Blood,” the frame story for the entire collection and the first story in volume 1, the story appears to be completely different. In Barker’s story, Mary is instead a paranormal researcher and Simon the phony medium she hires to check out a haunted house.
The characters in the other two tales appear to be made up just for the movie. Britt Robertson will play “Jenna,” a girl with misophonia (a hypersensitivity to certain sounds like loud chewing and nail-clipping) who runs away to LA to avoid being institutionalized by her mother, and Yul Vazquez will play “Bennett,” a hitman whose mark tells him about a book so priceless it could allow him and his wife to retire once and for all. While this last one could theoretically be a super-loose adaptation of Books of Blood’s final and concluding frame story, “On Jerusalem Street” (we can’t say why without spoiling “The Book of Blood”) , it still appears to be departing quite heavily from the source material.
Then again, we only have these character descriptions so far, so the final film could be a lot more faithful to Barker’s stories than it looks! We’ll find out next fall, when the film premieres.