Universal Pictures is reuniting spook mavens Clive Barker and Bernard Rose for the supernatural children’s fantasy fable “The Thief of Always,” sources said Wednesday.
Rose will direct and script the adaptation of Barker’s book, which has been printed in more than 12 languages.
The deal will garner Barker $1.1 million if the pic is made. Plot is about a young boy who ventures into a supernatural house full of miracles.
The film had been set up with Kennedy-Marshall Co. at Paramount as an animated version, but the rights reverted back to Barker. Universal then optioned it for live-action.
Janet Yang and Lisa Henson’s Manifest Films is producing the pic along with Barker. Henson worked with Rose when he directed “Immortal Beloved” for Columbia Pictures during her stint as prexy of that studio.
Universal exec VP of production Kevin Misher will oversee the project. Sources said the pic was on a fast track at U, which hopes for a big soundtrack and musical score.
Rose and Barker last worked together on “Candyman,” which Rose directed from Barker’s short story “The Forbidden.”
Rose’s other feature helming credits include “Paper House” and “Anna Karenina,” which is due out from Warner Bros. April 11.
Barker said he was eager to team up again with Rose. “He has an imagination that matches mine perfectly,” he said.
The fright scribe also claimed the book was a kinder, gentler side to the writer of the stories that were turned into the “Hellraiser” films.
“It’s not remotely what people associate Clive Barker with,” Barker maintained. “It’s got a dark edge at times, but it also has a deeply life-affirming story.”
The book is Barker’s first foray into children’s pics. But he is following it up with a series of art books for kids, currently in development.
Adam Krentzman of CAA brokered the deals for Barker and Rose.