Hellraiser Film Series Needs to Find New Home
When I was writing full time for the podcast a few years ago it seemed the Hellraiser remake was on the fast track to actually becoming a reality. This was coming off the hot heels of the newly released director’s cut of Nightbreed, which was garnering a lot of excellent feedback. Our very own podcast founders Ryan Danhauser was interviewed for the popular magazine Entertainment Weekly, where Barker made this comment about the remake at the time:
The writer reveals he recently sent Dimension Films chief Bob Weinstein the second draft of his screenplay for a new Hellraiser movie, which Barker describes as a “very loose” remake of his original film. “I think the phrase is ‘reboot,’ although I’ve never really understood what that meant,” he says. “I wanted to make sure we sounded some fresh notes. The movie actually begins on Devil’s Island. I wanted to fold into the Hellraiser narrative something about the guy—the Frenchman Lemarchand—who made the mysterious box, which raises Pinhead. I figured, ‘Well, what would have happened to him?’ He might well have been taken to Devil’s Island and I thought that would be a pretty cool place to start the movie. We’re waiting for Bob to come back to us and see when we’re going to actually make the movie.”
Three years have passed…and still nothing.
Dimension Films hasn’t had it easy on the financial front for long time which cost them the Halloween film rights, but to keep their hopes of a Hellraiser remake alive, they quickly rushed another sequel into production called Hellraiser: Judgment, a film directed by master FX artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe. At this point in time, Judgment has no release date and seems to be in limbo. And with all the negative press surrounding The Weinstein Company, I don’t see a release date coming any time soon. Of course that’s only speculation on my part.
Which brings me to the point of this article.
First off, I’m not going to go into the details of the recent sexual harassment allegations that are surrounding Harvey Weinstein. If you want to read up on all the naughty tidbits go to TMZ or some other trashy gossip site. That being said, in light of all of this shady business with Weinstein, I do believe it’s time for the Hellraiser franchise to find a new home.
Ever since they acquired the rights for Hell On Earth, its been obvious that they’ve treated the franchise as a cash cow. They turned it into A Nightmare On Elm Street with Pinhead. It still astonishes me that they would cut ties with one of the most brilliant creative minds of our time and tell him to fuck off! They know what they’re doing! Yeah, Inferno-Revelations proved that! But with this all recent news, I shouldn’t be surprised!
Moving along, some companies that I believe would treat the franchise with far more respect are:
Ghost House Pictures:
For the most part I’ve enjoyed a lot of films from Sam Raimi’s production company. I thought the Evil Dead remake was a slick update of the original, but was sorely missing Ash. Thank God for the TV series that was released. If they were to pick up the franchise I think they’d treat the source material with admiration. I’m sure they’d allow Clive to be apart of the creative process in some form considering Raimi is a huge fan of his work. In fact, Raimi used the original film’s composer Christopher Young to score Spiderman 2, Spiderman 3, and Drag Me to Hell.
Cha Cha Cha Films/Mirada Studios:
Guillermo del Toro is one of the best filmmakers around. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of Clive. They’re both visionaries who create worlds that allow audiences to get lost into them. Del Toro was actually approached to direct Hellraiser: Bloodline at one point. I think he would’ve created a wonderful film with Peter Atkins excellent script. If his company could acquire the rights to the franchise I believe they’d go deeper into the mythology like the second film did. They take the serious in more perverse direction because you know how much Del Toro loves sexually weird material.
And this one’s a given…
I think the franchise should go back home to its creator. Clive knows everything there is about this world. I don’t know if they could make feature films, but I think it would be cool if they produced their own in house short films based off their popular graphic novels The Hellraiser: Anthology. I haven’t read them myself, but Ryan and José have given them high praise!
Do you agree with my list? Or do you think the series should stay at Dimension Films? Sound off in the message boards below and let us know how you feel.