Hellraiser Reboot Reportedly Being Stalled By Clive Barker’s Lawsuit

Pinhead, villain of the Hellraiser franchise
New World Pictures

The future of the Hellraiser franchise is currently in a transitional space: on the one hand, a reboot movie and HBO series are planned, but on the other, Clive Barker is now aiming to get back the rights to the source material behind the original film. While this may not happen before a new Hellraiser, it does seem that Barker’s legal case could affect whether we’ll get new approaches to the Cenobites in the reboot.

According to a video by Hellraiser fan Mr. H, the Spyglass Media take on the Cenobites could now be dependent on the timing and outcome of Barker’s lawsuit. While details still seem to be a bit uncertain, David Bruckner is attached to direct Hellraiser, with a screenplay by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, and possibly a continued involvement by David Goyer. And from what Bruckner had to say about the project, the Hellraiser reboot would be faithful to the original 1987 film’s graphic content.

Mr. H’s video, meanwhile, gives an update on how the reboot has developed, whereby some meetings have occurred to “flesh out” the screenplay and the art direction. One key part of the new script is to reportedly “embrace the Cenobites” and to go in a very grotesque direction with their depiction of the characters. However, the project has now stalled as a result of Barker’s recent lawsuit to terminate his 1986 rights transfer, which will presumably complicate any creative decisions over the material.

Still, Mr. H acknowledges that, if things go to plan, the Hellraiser reboot will be “balls to the wall” and a hard R, something that we would certainly like to see. It’s also worth noting that Barker’s lawsuit would not allow him to be granted the rights to the Hellraiser source material until December 19th, 2021, meaning that a reboot movie could get off the ground before then.

Things do seem to be at an early stage in pre-production, though, so it’s understandable that Spyglass will want to make sure they’re on a good legal footing before moving forward. And on a more positive note, it appears that the Hellraiser television series is not subject to the same lawsuit problems as the reboot, so we might see that version of the Cenobites before anything else gets to theaters.