‘Hellraiser’ Reboot Finds a Teen-Friendly Director

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 11:31 pm,

Hellraiser reboot in limbo Hellraiser Reboot Finds a Teen Friendly Director
The Hellraiser franchise has always revolved around the complex relationship between pleasure and pain – but for fans of the long-running series, the last two decades have been filled primarily with the latter.

After a string of increasingly embarrassing straight-to-video sequels, Dimension evidently looked at the box office success that the new versions of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street were enjoying and decided it was time to give Hellraiser similar treatment.

The original 1987 film was written and directed by horror legend Clive Barker – based on his novel The Hellbound Heart. Rather than doing a straight forward remake, the Hellraiser reboot was, at one point, going to include aspects of the novel the original film had ignored.

Several filmmakers came and went from the project, but very little progress was made. In danger of losing the rights, the Weinstein Brothers were forced to fast track another straight-to-video sequel (Hellraiser: Revelations) to buy themselves some time. A rushed script, tight budget, condensed shooting schedule, and a new actor playing Pinhead? What could go wrong?

Despite the setbacks, the Hellraiser reboot remains a priority and is still crawling forward. In fact, Bloody Disgusting is reporting that Christian E. Christiansen is now set to direct the film and that the Weinsteins are hoping to land Amber Heard (The Stepfather, Drive Angry 3D) for the lead role.

Christiansen was the most recent director attached to the project – though, back in September, we reported that discussions with the studio had broken down. The Weinstein Brothers apparently had a very specific vision for the film and were having trouble finding a filmmaker whose take on the material lined up with theirs. There’s no mention of what’s behind the recent change of heart.

Christiansen was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for his short film At Night and also directed the upcoming thriller The Roommate. He might not sound like the most obvious choice for a Hellraiser movie and Heard probably seems a little young for the lead role, right? Well, that’s because you haven’t heard the best part…

The Weinstein Brothers are looking to make the reboot teen-friendly. Suddenly, it seems quite obvious why they’d have trouble finding a filmmaker who’s on the same page. I understand the desire to appeal to that demographic, but that decision seems at odds with the core of Hellraiser mythology.

The original film is pretty spectacular and the second one has some intriguing elements as well. Everything after that is totally disposable as far as I’m concerned, so I wasn’t initially resistant to the idea of a reboot. However, this sounds like a disastrous foundation to build the film on. I can’t stand the idea of Hellraiser potentially being turned into a generic slasher movie. Even worse, a PG-13 slasher movie.

We’ll have to wait and see how it all develops, but for the moment it doesn’t look like the Weinsteins are going to make the next few years any easier for Hellraiser fans.

Source: Bloody Disgusting.

TAGS: Hellraiser
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  1. oh dear god. i wonder if Barker is pulling out all of his hair. teen-friendly?? come on man get real

    • I wonder if Pin head is pulling his pins… oh come on!!

      You know someone had to say it!!

  2. Holy Crap!!

  3. i have a great idea… lets get a crappy film series that no one remembers and make it teen friendly and mass produce the crap out of it. it’ll make million and piss off millions more.


  4. “… lets get a film with crappy sequels that no one …”

    Fixed. No charge. :)

    • Haha. Nice.

  5. Whats with this Teen Friendly crap? Horror films should all be rated R or not be called A “Horror” film. Might as well just make it a 3-D Cartoon and call it “Heaven Raiser”.

  6. Halloween, Elm Street and Friday the 13th all S-U-C-K-E-D….Anything less and a red box “R” will probably suck for a Hellraiser movie…

  7. I usually hate the “PG-13 vs. R” arguement, but this film NEEDS to be R. The original (while over-rated) featured more adult-oriented themes rather than those for teens.

    • That’s my big issue with this. It’s not just the gore (although teen-friendly cenobites should be amusing), but the fact that the entire premise of Hellraiser is so adult-oriented. With the exception of Hellworld (which shouldn’t even be canon), these were never slasher films or guilty pleasure fun like Freddy, Jason, Michael, etc. Pinhead barely even belongs on that list. Barker was obviously trying to create something more substantial and while we can disagree over how successful he was, the fact remains that a modern retelling deserves better than this. I agree, anything less than an R would destroy this movie.

      • IMO, ‘Hellworld’ is my favorite of the films. That’s not saying much b/c I quit watching after ‘Bloodline’.

        • Am I remembering this correctly? Is that the one with the video game and rave thing? That really felt like an entirely different script they just shoehorned Pinhead into (something Dimension’s been known to do).

          What did you like about it? Not trying to sound like a jerk- I’m genuinely curious.

          • Well, Lance Henriksen was in it. Counts for something, I guess.


        • Oops, I was thinking of the second film, ‘Hellbound’. That one is my favorite.

          • There will be legendardy suffering, even in hell!

  8. Few horror movies that can be considered classics of the genre were released PG 13. Almost all were R, NC 17 or X rated…and they were box office hits.
    This decision by the Weinsteins, if true, shows a degree of cynicism and cowardice that betrays the makers of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.
    Hellraiser was a terrific low budget horror when it came out and is replete with some of the most memorable movie quotes..to wit :-
    “Come to Daddy”
    “We have such sights to show you”.
    It is hugely dismaying that greed overules artistry in Hollywood, more pertinently with respect to slapdash filmaking merely to retain film rights.
    I have nothing against films being made for a profit that are low in artistry…I love the Res Evil franchise for example. However to simply take an established film, remake it for kids and without much care or feeling for either the original film, the author or the fans is just sheer bloody-minded greed and cowardice.
    Rant ended.

    • I still get goosebumps when Pinhead says: “The box. You opened it. We came.” That used to be the sound for Windows starting up on my old computer.

      And you came to the right place to rant. =-)

  9. I really did give Elm Street, Halloween, etc. a chance and all of them were just garbage. “Teen” horror has turned into really bad movies. What happened?

    First Elm Street was a “teen horror” film but it was actually decent.

    • Two words – Michael Bay.
      His company Platinum Dunes is behind almost every major horror remake/reboot over the last 10 years, with the exception of Halloween.
      Without exception all their movies have been dross garbage and have been rightfully panned by the critics.
      Again, without exception all these films were made on modest budgets and were all profitable, some greatly so.
      Texas,Amityville,Friday,Nightmare,Unborn were made cumulatively for approx $115M – they grossed cumulatively $350M+. That’s called doublin’ yer money!!
      Michael Bay is a cancer of the film industry. He consumes otherwise healthy genre film titles, pollutes them and from their profits his cancer spreads to other venerable titles.
      Needless to say he is much loved by studio beancounters. In any other business he would be feigned as a business guru, a genius. We, the cinamagoers demand more however. More creativity, more artistry, more consciencious film-making.
      If he doesn’t turn around his Obits will read “…made “Pearl Harbour”, a few inconsequential robot movies and some horror remakes…sadly missed by L.A. accountants”.
      I watched “Winters Bone” today. Made for peanuts, it’s better than anything Bay has ever done. Dark and grim both in lighting and story, it is intelligent, artistic, moral, horrific and superbly acted.
      Go see movies like this and stay away from Bay and his ilk….otherwise they’ll just sprout more fetid, putrid, BK leftovers.

      • @” We, the cinamagoers demand more however. More creativity, more artistry, more consciencious film-making.”

        Not really. Moviegoers these days seem not care about any of that anymore. Hence why films like Jackass 3D make a lot of money.

        • Yeah, that wasn’t actually American audiences. They were Germans who flew in desperate for some schadenfreude.

      • Wow Highlander

        Great explanation. Sometimes I forget why I hare Michael Bay, thanks for reminding me :)

        It’s all about money.

        @ Little Monster

        I disagree with you about Jackass. That was as different as it gets from the crappy, unoriginal teeny movies. The way they found to hurt and embarrass themselves was very creative.

        • Your very welcome bud. ;-)

  10. I can see it now:

    “I know you opened the puzzle-box last summer”

    • Totally, I’m actually thinking of Zathura or The Spiderwick Chronicles with some darker lighting and a few plastic limbs laying on the floor or a kitchen sink full of red corn syrup.

  11. When will Hollywood realize that Twilight is not a horror film and two it is/was a flash in the pan success. Teen friendly means 16 yr old girls, what in hell can be done to turn Hellraiser into such a desecration.

    • Pin Head is going to Sparkle in the Light

  12. Jesus wept.

  13. Hellraiser is TO THIS DAY probably the most demented horror movie I know of…. To the making of a PG-13 reboot, I only have this to say:

    There is PG in “horror”
    You can’t have Horror without: R R R!

  14. I haven’t read much less skimmed the responses before me. I’m not going to bother.
    ====First things first====
    Unlike the author of the post, I have no problem with Amber. None. Zero. Nada. How old was Ashley Lawrence in the original? I rest my case.

    Now, onto the news of where this is being taken. Which is why I haven’t read the responses above. I know what most of them say without even peeking. Not even one glimpse.

    Does everyone REALLY want to know why the masses are tired of remakes and reimaginings? Here is the proof. I can understand reasonably if a remake/reboot were taken from parts of a novel/story that were not used, or in Clive Barker’s case, an update on the story Hellbound Heart itself.But THIS?!


    It’s not even taking the essence of the story. It’s just cashing in on the name. Sure, I’m sure they’ll throw in the Rubik’s Cube From Hell. And maybe Pinhead will show up, but he’ll be played by _________ (name your hip-hop rap star in the blank space provided) and the teens will be more emo than Freddy Kruger’s recent batch of misfits.

    I’m not too worried though—– I think this will fizzle out.

    Hey, remake RAWHEAD REX if you all have to. Better yet, adapt WEAVEWORLD.
    But don’t….don’t…go here. It’s just wrong.

    Still serious?
    Good luck.

  15. This will stink!

  16. Well said Darren, they are taking some of the greatest horror cinematic mater pieces of all time.
    I mean the time and effort put into the story, the special effects (and no I’m not talking about the computer animated garbage that they call horror now.) I’m talking about the countless and painful hours of sitting in a make up chair to get just the perfect amount of glistening mucus on a skinless reanimated corpse.
    This kind of sheer creativity can’t be matched anymore, so just LEAVE IT ALONE.
    What’s next, are they going to take Michaelangelo’s David; add a lip piercing and put some eyeliner on him..
    I don’t know what film is coming to these days.

  17. Ok seeing as how most of the parents today were teens when this came out….what parent in their right mind would allow their teen to go see a hellraiser movie??? I sure as hell wouldent (no pun intended).

    So in my opinion even if this movie gets legs and starts walking it will bomb horribly at the movie theatres. From what i remember their was no redeeming quality or likability in Pinhead or the things he did to people…The only redeeming quality was it was an original movie with original ideas…not to mention the story was interesting.

  18. I would say,forget the pg13 stuff and go back to being gory along the lines of clive barker,b/c turning it pg 13 is going to kill the franchise completely as if it isnt on the verge of no return already. also if you (The Weinstein Brothers) get a new guy to play as pinhead as they did with hellraiser revelations, i guess you can look forward to being out of pocket when it comes to sales. Doug Bradley must reprise his role and the movie must be focused on gore, terror,suspense, and pinhead along with the cenobites.if you cant do that, then i wouldnt attempt b/c im telling you,the movie will fail. As if it isnt already a sign that you cant find anyone to go along with your script or plans for the movie. my final thought is that you (The Weinstein Brothers) should reconsider your aproach to this movie.