The Clive Barker site Revelations posted a startling bit of news: The man himself is going to be scripting a remake his own seminal 1987 horror film HELLRAISER, and he’ll be doing it for Dimension, which has churned out a series of often only tangentially related Pinhead movies over the last decade. The new movie will be made for “a lot more money,” Barker tells the site, “and they’ve invited me to write it—the invitation came from Bob Weinstein—which I am going to do, on the basis that if I don’t do it, it will be done in some way that I probably won’t like! It’s only that [original film] that I really, really, really care about in terms of its remake value—and it’ll be kind of fun to have the extra money to do the effects and all that cool stuff.
“So it puts me in the situation of writing both the beginning and the end of Pinhead at the same time—‘In my end is my beginning…’ I’m excited about it—actually, it’ll be kinda cool to revisit it once and see if there are things we can do to it which will make it significantly better. I wouldn’t wish to direct—I only want to write and be a part of the producing team. I wouldn’t want to revisit something that I did as a director, something I made all those years ago; that would be too, in a way, painful—not painful but weird, difficult, strange… I am very happy at the idea of having some more money for the cool stuff—I don’t know how much more money, but it’s got to be more than the $900,000 that we had the first time!” Needless to say, we’ll keep a close watch on this project and let you know anything else we find out!
Over the weekend HELLRAISER fans spent their weekend in either a state of dribbling puzzlement or utter elation following this announcement.
If you’re now catching up, to sum up the drama in one word: remake. Yes, Dimension is moving ahead with a redux of the ’87 film, and Clive Barker is back to pen the update.
Fango happened to catch up to the man during the Screamfest Awards dinner (where Barker accepted a Lifetime Achievement nod), where he also revealed that his latest novel, THE SCARLET GOSPELS (which will chronicle Pinhead’s demise), is now weighing in at 3,000-plus pages.
With a definitive end to this project in sight soon enough, where does that leave room for Barker to pen that new HELLRAISER—especially with so many other irons in the fire? “When I’m done with GOSPELS, I’ll begin writing HELLRAISER 1 while I’m doing the paintings for ABARAT part three,” Barker laughs, the insanity of such an undertaking not lost on him. “I just wouldn’t be at peace with myself if I gave this [remake] writing gig to somebody else, and I’ve always had in the back of my head what I wanted to do. There are things which are going into the movie which I’ve had tucked in my brain for years.
“I haven’t talked to anybody else [involved in the original] about this,” he adds, instantly answering those fans pondering Doug “Pinhead” Bradley’s place in the new film. “I’m going to write it and see how it goes. I’m hoping Doug will be back [but] this will be a different Pinhead.” That said, will the new HELLRAISER reflect any themes, characters or events revealed in GOSPELS? “Oh yeah, of course!” Barker teases. “Do you really think I wouldn’t do that?”