The newly launched Spyglass Media Group has announced its first project, in the form of a reboot of Clive Barker’s 1987 horror film Hellraiser, to be written and produced by David S. Goyer.
The presence of Goyer’s name is sure to make the genre purists rather skittish. Although his claim to fame lies in having co-written Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, along with his work on the Blade series, he’s also written some critically savaged films more recently, including both Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unsurprisingly, press releases with Goyer’s name tend to mention The Dark Knight, instead. With most of his experience coming in the form of studio action movies—including the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, which Goyer also wrote—it’s reasonable to wonder how he’ll handle the intimate, grisly, icky story of Barker’s Hellraiser.
Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Spyglass, said the following: “Clive and I go back more than 30 years together. For generations, his brilliantly twisted and imaginative Hellraiser haunted the minds of moviegoers with its searing imagery of Pinhead. David is the perfect storyteller to continue Clive’s vision for a new theatrical version of Hellraiser.”
Goyer, likewise, paid his respects to Barker: “I’ve been a fan of Clive’s work since the original Books of Blood paperbacks and The Hellbound Heart novella. Having the chance to reimagine Pinhead and the Cenobites for a new audience is a nightmare-come-true. Gary is a true fan as well, and we’re committed to making something dark and visceral.”
The fact that this film is intended for worldwide theatrical distribution will certainly be a dramatic change for the Hellraiser franchise, which has now been relegated to the land of zero-budget VOD sequels (9 currently, 10 including Goyer’s) since the 1990s. In fact, the most recent VOD sequel, Hellraiser: Judgement, came out just last year. Hellraiser, therefore, has never really been gone as a franchise—it’s just been reduced to such dreck that no one outside of the most intense genre fans would realize it’s still around.
Can Goyer salvage Pinhead and the Cenobites? That task might be a bit more difficult than unlocking the Lament Configuration.