hellraiser remake david goyer

David S. Goyer has such sights to show you. Like a Hellraiser remake. The Batman Begins screenwriter will write and produce a remake of Clive Barker‘s horror classic, marking the end of a very long journey to reboot the gore-drenched franchise. Barker’s original, released in 1987, centered on a puzzle box with the power to unleash demonic deviants from another dimension. It would go on to spawn many sequels, most of which were downright terrible.

Hollywood has been trying to summon a Hellraiser remake from the pit for years. Back in 2006, Dimension Films announced they would be handling a remake helmed by Pascal Laugier – who would go on to make Martyrs. Laugier departed the project due to creative differences, at which point Inside filmmakers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo were brought in. They, too, didn’t last very long, and by 2010, Dracula 2000 director Patrick Lussier was set to direct. By 2011, though, this version of the film was also dead.

Now, here we are again. Variety is reporting David S. Goyer will write and produce a remake for Gary Barber‘s Spyglass Media Group. Barber says this new Hellraiser will be a “loyal, yet evolved reimagining” of Barker’s classic. Goyer added:

“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.”

In the 1987 film, horny creep Frank tracks down a mysterious puzzle box – officially known as Lament Configuration – that opens up a portal to another dimension. The dimension is specified as hell in future sequels, but kept mostly vague in the original movie. Out of this dimension come the Cenobites, demonic figures who are really into S&M. They tear Frank apart – but Frank isn’t gone for good. A few years later, Frank’s nerdy brother Larry moves into Frank’s old house with his daughter Kirsty and his new wife Julia. A skinless Frank is resurrected from the dead, and strikes up an icky affair with Julia. Meanwhile, the Cenobites – lead by the enigmatic Pinhead – are lurking, waiting to be summoned again.

This will no doubt be sacrilegious to some, but I think Hellraiser is one of those horror classics that could actually benefit from a remake. There’s room for improvement, and the ideas inherent in the series mythology are ripe for further exploration. However, I’m not entirely sure David Goyer is the right person for the job. Goyer has had a hand in some memorable titles, but Hellraiser needs a writer willing to go to extremely dark and strange places – something I just don’t see Goyer doing. But hopefully Goyer and Barber will find a director with real vision to bring this all together.

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