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Hellraiser Reboot - What We Know So Far

A new generation is set to be traumatized by the nightmare-inducing vision of Clive Barker, king of weird horror.

Barker is an English playwright, novelist, and screenwriter who rose to prominence in the 1980s with his unique horror aesthetic. He is the author of a multitude of short stories and novels, including "Damnation Game" (1985), "Weaveworld" (1987), and "Cabal" (1988). Perhaps his most indelible work of prose, though, is the novella "The Hellbound Heart," which was adapted by Barker himself into the 1987 horror classic "Hellraiser."

The film ultimately earned nine sequels and a veritable media empire made up of comic books, tie-in novels and truckloads of gothic merch. The "Hellraiser" franchise has lain dormant since 2018's "Hellraiser: Judgment," but according to The Hollywood Reporter, that's all about to change. Rising star of horror filmmaking David Bruckner ("The Night House," "V/H/S") is set to reimagine the '80s classic for a new audience.

Bruckner's "Night House" was a major hit at the Sundance Film Festival (held every February in Park City, Utah), so great potential exists for his team to bring Barker's unique vision back to the silver screen in a unique and exciting way. Here's everything we know about the project.

Who is in the cast of the Hellraiser reboot?

A lot of anticipation built up around who would take on the role of Pinhead from horror icon Doug Bradley. The Cenobite is known the world over for his one-of-a-kind look, complete with pins sticking out of its head. Thanks to a report from Deadline, we now know that Jamie Clayton ("The L Word: Generation Q," "Sense 8") will step into the cloak. Bradley himself has said that he is a fan of the casting choice, and he is rather intrigued to see what Clayton will do with the role.

Also in the cast are Odessa A'Zion, Drew Starkey, Goran Visnjic, and Brandon Flynn. A'Zion appeared in the 2020 Netflix series "Grand Army" as Joey Del Marco, a high school student who is a talented dancer. She's also featured in the 2022 independent film "Good Girl Jane," which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. Actor Drew Starkey can be seen in episodes of the Amazon thriller "The Terminal List" alongside Chris Pratt, and is a regular on the teen drama "Outer Banks" on Netflix. "13 Reasons Why" fans will recognize star Brandon Flynn, and Goran Visnjic is a long-time veteran of film and TV, having appeared in shows such as "ER," "Santa Clarita Diet," "The Boys," and "This is Us."

What is the release date of the Hellraiser reboot?

The "Hellraiser" reboot will be released exclusively on Hulu, just in time for the spooky season on October 7. Unfortunately, fans of the franchise hoping for a theatrical release will be disappointed — but hey, the movie is likely to give them nightmares from the comfort of their home just as well as if they were viewing it on the big screen. 

The "Hellrasier" franchise has been a consistent presence for decades. Since the original movie first made its debut in 1987, it has spawned three theatrical sequels, six titles that went straight-to-video, several published stories, and a comic book series. A "Hellraiser" TV show is also in the works at HBO, with Clive Barker signed on as an executive producer (via Deadline).  

Some "Hellraiser" titles (namely those that were home releases between 2000 and 2018) have been dismal disappointments for diehard fans and critics alike. In the films "Hellraiser: Inferno," "Hellraiser: Hellseeker," "Hellraiser: Deader," and "Hellraiser: Hellworld," Bradley as Pinhead doesn't even appear until the very end. With distribution changing hands several times over the years, one might accuse the franchise's producers of treating the series as a cash grab and sacrificing quality for quantity. No doubt horror fans are eager to see Bruckner bring in a fresh new perspective, as well as hopefully a return to the franchise's roots.   

What is the plot of the Hellraiser reboot?

The original "Hellraiser" film was Barker's first attempt at directing a feature, an effort that he followed up with the underrated "Nightbreed" in 1990. The "Hellraiser" film largely followed the plot of Barker's novella; the plot involved the resurrection of a man named Frank (Sean Chapman), who had his body dismembered by Cenobites, evil monsters from another dimension. After their mother's death, Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) moves into their childhood home and spills blood in the attic, initiating Frank's resurrection. Frank's revenant form demands more blood, which sends Larry and his wife Julia (Claire Higgins) on a quest that will ultimately lead them to the Pinhead.

The new "Hellraiser" reboot's official synopsis (via IMDb) reads: "In this reimagining of Clive Barker's seminal Hellraiser franchise, a young woman must confront the sadistic, supernatural forces behind an enigmatic puzzlebox responsible for her brother's disappearance." The movie's trailer gives us a few clues as well. From what we can tell, Goran Visnjic plays the role of a wealthy sadist who tricks a young man into solving a puzzlebox for his own mysterious gains. Odessa A'zion plays the "young woman" mentioned in the synopsis, and can be seen studying the puzzlebox in an attempt to reveal its dark secrets. We also see the return of the horrific Cenobites, whose motives are likely similar to that of their predecessors — torture of the mind, body, and soul. 

How closely the reboot follows the lore of the original "Hellraiser" — or how far it may stray — remains to be seen. We can't wait to find out on October 7.