It's been more than a quarter of a century since Clive Barker's classic horror movie Hellraiser was released, which according to our Hollywood clock means that its long past due for a reboot. This is one franchise, however, that has so far been surprisingly resistant to any plans for a remake of the first movie, with all of the attempted reboots so far having fallen through.
This has a lot to do with Dimension Films being very selective and cautious in its approach to the reboot, and to who should write and direct it. From Martyrs director Pascal Laugier to Drive Angry's Patrick Lussier, there have been plenty of names attached to the project, but so far they've had trouble sticking to it.
So, why should this latest reboot announcement be any different? Mainly because Dimension has now turned back to Barker, the author of the original novella upon which Hellraiser is based, as well as the writer and director of the original movie. In a statement on his official Facebook page, Barker announced that he has met with Bob Weinstein and been invited to write a script based on his latest pitch for a remake of the first movie:
"HOT FROM HELL! My friends,I have some news which may be of interest to you. 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. 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.
What can I tell you about it? 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. Of course the best make-up in the world loses force if not inhabited by a first-rate actor. 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.
"So once the papers are signed, I will open a Lemarchand Configuration, dip my quill in its contents and start writing. I promise that there will be nowhere on the Internet where the news of my progress will be more reliable than here ,because the only author of these reports will be Your Infernal Corespondent [sic] ,me."
There's a lot in here to put horror fans on the edges of their seats. Barker hasn't been directly involved with any of the movies made since Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and the return of the original creator could be just what the series needs to pluck it out of the straight-to-video nadir that it's been caught up in lately. There's also the promise of sticking with practical effects, which were particularly groundbreaking (and gross) in the original film, as well as Barker's intent to involve Pinhead actor Doug Bradley, who elected not to appear in the most recent release, Hellraiser: Revelations.
In short, this is one reboot that's worth getting excited for. It's of course important to note that right now the deal is only to write a script, which isn't a guarantee that it will end up on screen or even be directed by Barker, but said script might just be exactly what Dimension has been waiting for.
Tell us in the comments if you're happy to hear that Hellraiser is going back it its roots, and which actor you think should play Kirsty Cotton in the remake.
We'll keep you updated on Barker's Hellraiser reboot as it develops.