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HELLRAISER is a household name within the world of Horror, as most fans home come to know the franchise with great passion. For a long time, Dimension spent lots of effort in to trying to remake the original 1987 HELLRAISER. This is why they released 2011’s HELLRAISER: REVELATIONS, and why the upcoming HELLRAISER: JUDGMENT is being made, to secure the rights so that they do not lose the property.
So back to the possible HELLRAISER reboot. Over the years there have been several individuals involved in the project including MARTYRS’ Pascal Laugier, the team of Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer, and of course the creator of HELLRAISER himself, Mr. Clive Barker.
Barker was tasked by Dimension to write the script for the HELLRAISER reboot years ago, which called for Doug Bradley to fill the shoes of Pinhead. Back in March, Barker revealed that the script was written and delivered to Dimension a great while ago, leading us to believe that they did not like what he had created on paper.
Director of HELLRAISER JUDGMENT, Gary J. Tunnicliffe, claims that Barker’s script was too dark and twisted in a sexual manner which would have been off-putting for the mainstream audience.
Details on Clive Barker’s reboot have finally surfaced as Rob Ridenour from The Clive Barker Podcast was able to get a copy of the script and offers us a rundown:
‘The script opens on Devil’s Island in the 1700’s where toymaker Philippe Lemarchand is being held prisoner by an evil warden who wants him to finish building the infamous box—its design closer to The Hellbound Heart here—known as the Lament Configuration. Once done, Lemarchand only wishes to be free and return home to his family. The warden has other plans and wants Lemarchand to open the box, so he can show the toymaker what it does. Things turn quite grisly when a familiar lead cenobite shows up and wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting prison custodian.
With this opening prologue, Barker introduces fresh elements into the story, especially involving Pinhead. …
The story then moves to present day Massachusetts where Larry Cotton, a college professor, and his unhappy wife Julia are moving into the “old homestead” along with Larry’s daughter Kirsty. Also, to their surprise Larry’s brother Frank has been occupying the upstairs attic for the past few months. Larry allows Frank to stay in the attic until he can get back on his feet. Little does Larry know, that Frank and Julia have been having an affair. This pleases Julia immensely, so they can continue where they left off. They’re literally out of their knickers as soon as Larry turns his back to go see the rest of the house with Kirsty. These early parts of the script—other than Larry letting Frank live with them—stick very close to the basic structure of the original film, but Clive writes all this in a new way that makes the material feel fresh. Eventually, Frank opens the box and is torn apart (another fine gory moment) during a ritual where he summons the Hell Priest which forces Julia to once again find him victims, so he can have a new skin. This time around, Julia is much more savage in the way she dispatches her victims. She’s a much nastier character who never garners any sympathy from the reader. While Frank is still… Frank. The bastard that the reader either loves or hates.
It’s only when Kirsty escapes from Frank and steals the box, that this story really starts to develop its own identity. The sequences of Kirsty in the hospital are some of the strongest in the script. This is where Barker begins to introduce his new mythology and let Pinhead have some devilish fun. There are a couple of disturbing scenes involving the creation of two cenobites (dubbed SCALPEL and BLOAT) that really bothered me. Without giving away any details, I’ll just say it involves a maternity ward and a morgue. Also, don’t expect Barker to tread familiar ground with going back to the labyrinth when a character opens the box. The box acts differently in this version.”
Who knows if we will ever see HELLRAISER rebooted. Only time will tell. We have HELLRAISER: JUDGMENT still afloat in some form, waiting for it’s release.
We will continue to bring you updates on all things HELLRAISER.