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.
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