Hellraiser Remake Still Stalled; New Direct To DVD Film Keeps Franchise 'Alive'

Dimension can't decide what it wants out of a Hellraiser remake. Over the past few years the company has attached at least three filmmakers or teams — Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside); Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (Feast and the Saw series); and Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) to write and/or direct new takes on the original.

But all those teams have quit or otherwise moved on, and Dimension continues to dither over how to re-do Clive Barker's 1987 film for new audiences. But there's a sticky rights issue, and you may have recently heard rumblings about a new film over the last week or so. That's not the remake, but rather a direct to DVD film intended to keep the series at Dimension.

THR says that the film going into production now — Hellraiser: Revelations — is going forward because the company risked losing rights to the series by the end of this year if a film wasn't greenlit.Revelations is directed by Victor Garcia from a script by longtime Hellraiser effects guy Gary Tunnicliffe. Peta Wilson stars, and Doug Bradley will not return as Pinhead, the Cenobite who, despite a very small amount of screen time in the first film became the figurehead for the series.

The film follows, according to B-D, "two friends who unleash Pinhead...one of the friends has a change of heart. He backs out on his oath hoping to swap himself out with one of his friend's family members. [And] there will be a male and female cenobite escorting Pinhead around town, with a new "Pseudo-Pinhead" being introduced."

If you're hungry for all the details on this ninth film in the series, Moviehole has a full casting breakdown.

I really wanted to see the Bustillo and Maury incarnation of Hellraiser; after seeing Inside I thought they were absolutely right for the job. And the Laugier one was interesting as well, though I'm not as big a fan of Martyrs. Most recently Christian E. Christiansen was in talks to direct the remake, but that has ended, too.

According to THR's source, Dimension is approaching this in exactly the method you'd be afraid of, reportedly "chasing the hot genre writer or director of the moment then moving on when it doesn't mesh with the company's vision or when the initial excitement wears off."

Barker's original film still works; I just saw it projected after not having caught it for years, and it played perfectly for the audience. It's a small, creepy movie with a lot of potential for a remake and I'd be happy to see someone get the chance, if only Dimension would have the confidence to back it.