Just in time for Halloween, Hulu is finalizing deals on Books of Blood, an original film based on Clive Barker’s horror anthology, from The Orville duo of Brannon Braga, who is co-writing, executive producing and will direct in his feature directorial debut, and Seth MacFarlane, who is exec producing. Anna Friel (Marcella) stars in the moving alongside Britt Robertson (For the People), Rafi Gavron (A Star Is Born) and Yul Vazquez (Midnight, Texas). The film, which hails from Fox 21 Television Studios and MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions, is slated for premiere in fall 2020.
The project had been in the works at Hulu for over a year, long before the streamer became The Orville‘s new home this past summer.
Written by Braga and Adam Simon (Salem, The Haunting in Connecticut) based on a short story by Barker with contributing original material, Books of Blood takes a journey into uncharted and forbidden territory through three tales tangled in space and time.
Barker’s Books of Blood is a six-book series of horror fiction collections, which mix in fantasy themes as well. The tales take place in a contemporary setting, usually featuring everyday people who become embroiled in terrifying or mysterious events.
Friel will play Mary, a brilliant, beautiful psychologist who has gained fame as a skeptic that debunks all theories or beliefs that are not solely scientifically based. She loses her 7-year-old son to leukemia and then meets Simon (Gavron) who becomes her lover and convinces her that he speaks for her dead child.
Robertson will portray Jenna, a hypersensitive girl who suffers from “misphonia” — an abhorrence of sound. As she learns her mother is about to send her back to the “Farm,” she steals her mother’s cash and sets out for Los Angeles.
Gavron’s Simon is a handsome, charismatic young man who convinces Mary that he is a “ghost whisperer” who speaks for her dead child.
Vazquez will play Bennett, a professional killer who’s latest “hit” clues him in on a priceless book that may allow him and his wife to permanently retire. On his search for the tome, his quest leads him straight into supernatural territory.
Braga and Simon executive produce with Fuzzy Door’s MacFarlane and Erica Huggins, Alana Kleiman, Brian Witten, Jeff Kwatinetz, Josh Barry and Barker. Mark Miller is co-executive producer. Joe Micucci, Jason Clark and Michael Mahoney are producers.
Braga was one of the key creative forces of the Star Trek franchise, for which he wrote or co-wrote more episodes than any other writer and received an Emmy nomination. He went on to exec produce and direct the award-winning Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and created/exec produced WGN America’s first original drama series Salem. He is currently an executive producer on MacFarlane’s space adventure series The Orville, which is moving from Fox to Hulu, and the upcoming installment to the Cosmos franchise Cosmos: Possible Worlds.