New Hellraiser Movie Will Feature A Femme Take On Pinhead Played By Jamie Clayton

The entire legacy of the "Hellraiser" franchise has been fraught with issues ranging from slapdash sequels made to continue holding on to the rights, and production intervention so strong that the directors have requested their names be taken off the final product. It's natural that fans would be hesitant following the announcement that director David Bruckner ("The Night House," "The Ritual," "Southbound") would be remaking the beloved property with a script from a writing team that includes "The Night House" screenwriters Luke Piotrowski and Ben Collins in addition to producer David S. Goyer (The "Blade" Trilogy, "Batman Begins," "Terminator: Dark Fate"), because the track record of disappointment far outweighs the joy. However, today brought a massive announcement regarding the "Hellraiser" remake that will hopefully inspire optimism for this franchise for the first time in over a decade.

Years ago, "Hellraiser" creator Clive Barker signed away the story and character rights to Dimension Films, unaware of how successful and iconic the franchise, especially the villainous character Pinhead, would become. Now, he's set to regain the U.S. rights on December 19, 2021 and has stepped up as a producer on the project. This is fantastic, as Barker finally has his creation back where it belongs, and is able to influence the remake's final product. Whether you call him Pinhead or the Lead Cenobite or The Hell Priest, from 1987 to 2005, Doug Bradley haunted us as the legendary master of torture, but a new face will be taking over the reins, with "The L Word: Generation Q" and "Sense8" star Jamie Clayton cast as Pinhead.

A New Face Beneath the Nails

We've known for a while now that the new "Hellraiser" team was trying to do something new with the beloved character, as RuPaul's Drag Race alumnus Gottmik was given the chance to audition for the role after walking the runway in a Pinhead inspired look.

Gottmik (real name Kade Gottlieb) says they lost the role saying, "I wasn't menacing enough! I had to read a bunch, I was in my apartment, against the wall, full-on trying to be Pinhead, pretending to pull needles out of my head, just going in! It was so funny!"

Gottmik isn't the only high-profile drag performer to pull off the Pinhead aesthetic. "All About Evil" director and horror host Peaches Christ donned a Pinhead look complete with ripped open breasts back in 2018, but now "Hellraiser" has found their Pinhead in Jamie Clayton ... and anyone worried Bruckner would erase the inherent queerness of Barker's original can breathe a sigh of relief.

Who is Jamie Clayton?

Jamie Clayton first got her start in 2010 as one of the co-hosts of the I-swear-to-god-this-show-existed reality makeover show "TRANSform Me" with Laverne Cox and Nina Poon. Since then, she's appeared as Kyla in the third season of the HBO series "Hung," the lead role of Michelle Darnell on the Emmy Award-winning interactive web series "Dirty Work," Nomi Marks in the Netflix original series "Sense8," Sasha Booker in the third season of "Designated Survivor," Tess Van De Berg in Showtime's "The L Word: Generation Q," as the casting director in "The Neon Demon," and as herself in the groundbreaking Netflix documentary "Disclosure," and docu-series "Equal" on HBO Max.

Clayton took to Twitter to express her gratitude, teasing a Lament Configuration puzzle box, and exciting the masses.

Goyer promised us the "Hellraiser" remake would be "beautiful and scary" and this casting announcement solidifies it. It's a smart decision to go in an entirely different direction with the character, because unless you're casting Doug Bradley, people are going to expect a Doug Bradley-esque character and feel a great sense of disappointment if they can't capture his essence. It was a smart decision with the "Evil Dead" remake, it was a smart decision with the "IT: Chapters One and Two" films, and it's a smart decision now.