Hellraiser director David Bruckner explains how Clive Barker’s original short story led to the reboot film casting Jamie Clayton as Pinhead.
Hellraiser director David Bruckner has revealed that Jamie Clayton’s Pinhead was based on the version found in Clive Barker’s original short story, The Hellbound Heart.
Speaking with Empire, Bruckner explained how the reboot would have never been made if it didn’t include “some version of Pinhead.” Wanting his Hellraiser reboot to bring something new to the big-screen version of Pinhead, Bruckner turned to Barker’s original story for inspiration. “The character was described as having the voice of a young girl, and that ambiguity was part of the aesthetic of the novella, and something we thought would be very fascinating to capture in this iteration, and in the current climate and conversation about gender,” he said. “We liked the idea that the Cenobites had evolved beyond any kind of gender programming as we understood it.”
Although Clayton’s casting was criticized by many Hellraiser fans when it was first announced, Bruckner knew he’d found his Pinhead the second he met the actor. “It was an iteration of the character that didn’t carry the spirit of Doug in the same way. Doug’s a little funny, and you feel the sense of time in his operation,” the director explained. “Jamie was so postured and controlled, and you got a sense of silky hunger underneath it all. She was curious, and I thought that was really frightening.” While Hellraiser would ultimately go on to receive lukewarm reviews, Clayton’s performance as Pinhead a.k.a. The Hell Priest was praised by both critics and fans of the franchise.
Hellraiser Reboots the Long-running Franchise
The Hellraiser franchise began in 1987 with the release of the first film, which was directed and adapted for film by Barker and starred Doug Bradley as Pinhead. The supernatural horror film was then followed by nine sequels, the first seven of which featured Bradley reprising his role as Pinhead. In 2020, Hulu and Spyglass Media Group announced that they would be rebooting the franchise with a new film that would be a more faithful adaptation of the source material.
In Hellraiser, a young woman recovering from addiction must confront the sadistic, supernatural forces behind an enigmatic puzzle box responsible for her brother’s disappearance. In addition to Clayton, the Hulu original horror movie stars Odessa A’zion, Adam Faison, Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn, Aoife Hinds, Jason Liles, Yinka Olorunnife, Selina Lo, Zachary Hing, Kit Clarke, Goran Višnjić, Hiam Abbass, Gorica Regodić and Vukašin Jovanović.
Hellraiser is currently available to stream on Hulu.
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