A few days ago we reported that Christian E. Christiansen, a director who had previously vacated the director's chair on the Hellraiser reboot, was back on board and ready to deliver a teen-friendly version of Clive Barker's notoriously graphic horror masterpiece.
More than a few fans had trouble imagining how the filmmakers would deal with Hellraiser's overt sadomasochism within the confines of a PG-13 rating. Well, Shock Till You Drop is claiming that all of our passionate protesting was for nought.
They've confirmed that Patrick Lussier will direct the Hellraiser reboot from a script by Todd Farmer. They're the duo behind the My Bloody Valentine remake and the upcoming Drive Angry 3D. They were also attached to Halloween 3D until the Weinsteins pulled the plug and started seeking new pitches.
As for the teen-friendly approach, STYD acknowledges that there is a treatment floating around the Dimension offices that features an all-teen cast, but numerous proposals were made and it's unknown which version the Weinsteins have ultimately decided to go with.
Taking into consideration Lussier and Farmer's past collaborations, I think we might be able to put our fears over a bloodless Hellraiser to rest. Lussier is certainly no stranger to the genre - he worked as an editor on Wes Craven's films for over a decade before transitioning into directing.
Although one of his first assignments was the Craven-produced Dracula 2000, Lussier has worked primarily in the straight-to-video arena with low-budget sequels to The Prophecy and White Noise, as well as two Dracula follow-ups. The box office success of the modestly budgeted My Blood Valentine insured the he and Farmer (who previously scripted Jason X and The Messengers) were on their way to more prestigious assignments.
The other part of the Christiansen story was that the Weinsteins wanted Amber Heard for the lead role in Hellraiser. Given her involvement in Drive Angry 3D, it seems like there's a good chance that might actually come to fruition.
I'll be honest, I'm not really a fan of any of the movies I've just mentioned. I have no doubt these guys can deliver an adequate amount of gore, but I'm still concerned by what appears to be Hellrasier's transformation into a more conventional horror film. There is nothing on either of their resumes that suggests this is a good match.
Pascal Laugier was a relatively untested filmmaker (at least in terms of the budget Dimension was prepared to give him), but whenever he was asked about his plans for the film he spoke of a sweeping vision and something vastly different from Barker's original Hellraiser. I always got the impression that if he was going to fail, at least he was going to fail big.
Personally, I can't help but feel that the Weinsteins' choice of Lussier and Farmer speaks a little bit about the direction they intend to take this film in. I know it's probably still too early to be so entirely pessimistic, but Hellraiser is a lot easier to screw up than a Friday the 13th remake - and look how spectacularly Hollywood managed to do that.
This is definitely better news than what was previously reported, but it still doesn't inspire much faith in the Hellraiser reboot.
Source: Shock Till You Drop.