The classic horror franchise Hellraiser is getting a reboot with The Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer on board to pen the script. Sprung from the mind of novelist Clive Barker, 1987's Hellraiser first introduced audiences to the demonic race known as the Cenobites and their leader Pinhead. Though the original was just a modest success with $14 million grossed at the box office, a whole series of Hellraiser films would ensue, ending with 2016's Hellraiser: Judgment. Pinhead would himself go on to become a horror icon alongside fellow '80s fright film characters Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.
Plans to start all over with a remake of the original Hellraiser were first revealed way back in 2006, with Dimension Films producer Bob Weinstein spearheading efforts to get the movie off the ground. As late as 2014, original series creator Barker was revealing his own plans to script a new version of Hellraiser that he said would use practical effects rather than CGI. However, by 2017 Barker was shooting down talk of a remake, saying he'd already delivered a script to Dimension but the film wasn't moving forward. But talk of a reboot of Hellraiser ramped up again earlier this year when Jason Blum mentioned that his Blumhouse Productions might pursue the project, and received a further boost when Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson seemed to tease his own involvement in such a film (Derrickson previously directed the direct-to-video franchise installment Hellraiser: Inferno).
It should come as great news to fans of Hellraiser that, after years of speculation about a possible reboot of the horror franchise, plans are finally solidly coming together. As reported by Deadline, Spyglass Media Group chief Gary Barber has announced the company is moving ahead with a new version of Hellraiser, with David S. Goyer coming on board to write the script. In a statement, Goyer talked about his personal connection to the material:
“I’ve been a fan of Clive’s work since the original Books of Blood paperbacks and The Hellbound Heart novella. Having the chance to reimagine Pinhead and the Cenobites for a new audience is a nightmare-come-true. Gary is a true fan as well and we’re committed to making something dark and visceral.”
Darkness is of course nothing new for Goyer, the writer best known for his work on Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight films. Goyer's background in horror is actually quite deep as well, stretching back to his work on cult films like Demonic Toys and The Puppet Masters. Goyer in recent years has become a highly sought-after writer, and currently has Terminator: Dark Fate and Masters of the Universe on his list of upcoming films.
By taking on Hellraiser as his next writing job, Goyer is tackling a truly daunting challenge. The original film still stands as one of the classics of '80s horror, thanks in large part to the genuinely disturbing vision of writer-director Barker, and long-time fans will no doubt have high standards for the reboot. Bringing back older horror properties with a new spin is always a scary proposition, as it's necessary to please hardcore fans while still making things palatable to modern day audiences who might have different sensibilities.