The saga of the potential “Hellraiser” remake has more twists and turns than your average supernatural thriller about a haunted music box that unleashes grotesque monsters from a hellish alternate dimension. Basically, the Weinstein Company owns the rights to the franchise, but every few years that option threatens to expire unless they make another movie. That goes a long way toward explaining things like the direct-to-video “Hellraiser: Revelations,” which utilizes reconstituted footage from other movies and looks like it was shot on a third generation iPhone over a long weekend. But it looks like the king is returning to the series: with original writer/director Clive Barker back to pen a new “Hellraiser” reboot for Dimension/Weinstein Company. Sounds spooky!
Writing on his Facebook page (yes, seriously), the author and filmmaker, who publicly decried the last few movies, said that all is well in the land of hell. “A few weeks ago I had a very productive meeting with Bob Weinstein of Dimension Pictures, in the course of which I pitched a remake of the first ‘Hellraiser’ film,” Barker enthused. “The idea of my coming back to the original film and telling the story with a fresh intensity-honoring the structure and the designs from the first incarnation but hopefully creating an even darker and richer film-was attractive to Dimension. Today I have officially been invited to write the script based upon that pitch.”
But what can we expect from the film? Well, more of the same, really. “Well, it will not be a film awash with CGI. I remain as passionate about the power of practical make-up effects as I was when I wrote and directed the first ‘Hellraiser.'” While we’re all for practical make-up effects, we wonder how computer effects could aid in the creation of the ‘Hellraiser’ world (and are sure that some CGI will sneak in there somewhere).
Somewhat more surprising is that it seems like Barker and Dimension are sticking with an old favorite in the role of leather-clad demon Pinhead. “Of course the best make-up in the world loses force if not inhabited by a first-rate actor,” Barker continued. “I told the Dimension team that in my opinion there could never be a Pinhead without Doug Bradley, and much to my delight Bob Weinstein agreed.” This must mean that the “Hellraiser” TV show, announced last year, is also no more.
So, just to run down: Barker is back in the driver’s seat (the last time anyone was officially attached was when the “Drive Angry” duo of director Patrick Lussier and writer Todd Farmer became involved in 2011), there will be practical make-up effects, and Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead in the original film and many of the subsequent sequels, will also make a return. Sounds pretty hellish, in the best possible way.