I’ve waited a long time to see news of an adaptation of the work of British fantasy/’weird fiction’ author China Miéville. Not because I’m a huge fan, but because his work is so rich in imagined detail that a film based on it could stand shoulder to shoulder with the monster movies of a director like Guillermo del Toro. While I don’t always love Miéville’s way with words, I’m always captured by his ideas and details; I’d love to see a film that worked.
I’ve yet to see Martyrs, by French filmmaker Pascal Laugier, so I don’t know if he’s the man to pull it off. But Laugier, previously attached to remake Hellraiser, has signed to adapt the Miéville short story Details for Paramount Vantage. The studio has had this one on the back burner for a couple of years, after buying Dan Kay’s adaptation of the story in ’06.
Laugier will work from his own script based on the story of “a daughter who disappears after awakening supernatural forces that inhabit the random patterns of everyday objects.” The story appeared in an anthology of tales inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, and is collected in Looking For Jake. The tale originally featured a young boy and an old woman; at some point in the process it seems that Kay switched character genders and added a father/daughter relationship, and Variety‘s report suggests Laugier will take his line.
What’s this mean for the planned Hellraiser remake? Variety says Laugier is still attached to the picture as writer and director, but that he’ll do the Miéville film first. But with the shuffling that’s already gone on around that project, I don’t expect to see it happen any time soon, and if Laugier exits the Barker-verse like others before him I wouldn’t be surprised at all.