Laugier Directing ‘Hellraiser’ Relaunch
The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Pascal Laugier is in final negotiations do direct Dimension’s reboot of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. The director is most known for his controversial French horror film Martyrs. Dimension has attempted to relaunch the Hellraiser franchise for several years now, with Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo originally attached to write and direct the picture. Most recently, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton wrote a new draft, but it’s unclear if their vision will be used for Laugier’s picture.
"This is a dream project for me," Laugier said of Hellraiser. "I know Clive Barker’s work very well, and I would never betray what he has done. Fans are expecting a definitive Hellraiser, and I don’t want to take that away from them."
Anyone worried about how hard R the film might be can stop worrying now. Laugier’s Martyrs has been described as a torture porn and yielded an 18+ rating in France, which is the equivalent of NC-17 in the United States. According to THR, several people reportedly fainted during a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. Sounds like Pinhead’s going to have his hands full.
In Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Frank Cotton is sent to Hell when he foolishly plays with a mysterious box called The Lament Configuration. His former lover Julia, an adulturus woman in an unhappy marriage, assists Frank in finding three victims so that he may escape Hell and live again. In the end, it’s assumed that both Frank and Julia fail at their task and are sent back to Hell. Hellraiser spawned multiple spin-offs, though none directed by Clive Barker, and most largely panned by critics.
Hellraiser joins a growing list of classic horror icons remade for the 21st century. Rob Zombie reinterpreted Halloween back in 2007 to mixed reviews. Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes also saw mildly received remakes recently. There are active plans for a Robert Englund-less Nightmare on Elm Street reboot, as well as a new Kane Hodder-less Friday the 13th debuting in 2009. Of all these horror remakes, perhaps the best shot at success goes to the planned Child’s Play update, as the iconic Brad Dourif is set to voice the homicidal Good Guy doll, Chucky, once again.