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Hellraiser Remake Director David Bruckner On How The New Movie Differs From The Original - Exclusive

There's always a lot of pressure on a filmmaker when they're faced with the challenge of remaking, rebooting, or even just adding to a beloved and popular franchise. Whether it's "Star Wars" or "Friday the 13th," the trick is to make something that will please fans who have been there all along while hopefully creating something new that will build on and freshen up the existing canon.

The latest example of this is "Hellraiser," the 11th film in the series that was first launched 35 years ago with a movie bearing the same title. While many fans consider the first "Hellraiser" and "Hellbound: Hellraiser II" to be classics of the horror genre, many of the "Hellraiser" films that have come along in the years since have left something to be desired.

The original inspiration for the entire franchise was Clive Barker's novella "The Hellbound Heart," in which a man in pursuit of depraved sexual experiences opens up an ancient puzzle box and unlocks a realm of creatures called the Cenobites, who live to inflict pain on others for their own pleasure.

At one point, there was talk of doing a straight remake of the original film (via Fangoria), but director David Bruckner tells Looper in our exclusive interview that when he signed up for the project, his intention was always to tell a brand-new tale. "The first story is perfect," he explains. "I don't think you can recreate that. I'd never try to remake it. What felt appropriate was a new story in the world of 'Hellraiser.'"

Clive Barker's original story is still in the DNA of the new Hellraiser

There's still a sadomasochistic hedonist in the new "Hellraiser," in the form of debauched art dealer Roland Voight (Goran Visnjic), whose actions set the wheels of the plot in motion. But then "Hellraiser" pivots to a young woman and recovering addict named Riley (Odessa A'zion), who comes into possession of the box through a series of poor choices and accidentally opens the portal to let the Cenobites through again.

Director David Bruckner says that he didn't see any reason to remake the original 1987 "Hellraiser," which was directed by Clive Barker himself. "The first movie is a pretty great adaptation of the book," he affirms. "I don't know that we need another one."

Instead, Bruckner says that his "Hellraiser" references Barker's novella in different ways: "We did take a lot of inspiration from the book, particularly where design was concerned. A lot of my collaborations with Clive in prep were about examining ideas from the book, and him and [me] finding shared obsessions, as he would say."

Ultimately, however, the director adds that while the movie still has to feel like it's part of the "Hellraiser" mythology, it also has to stand on its own two feet.

"You have to look at the story in the context of the greater conversation of 'Hellraiser,' but it's also a story," he says. "It's a movie and it's the tale of a character. Our lead, Riley, she has her own dilemma. She has her own conversation with temptation. The Cenobites are both of their own world [and] also a reflection of her interior. So a lot of my conversations with Clive were thematic, and that often tied us back to 'The Hellbound Heart.'"

"Hellraiser" is streaming now on Hulu.