Clive Barker, the creator of the original Hellraiser, told fans in Los Angeles over the weekend that he wants the remake to push the envelope even more than he did back in 1987.
"If you are going to remake something, then take it up a notch or 10," Barker said in a panel discussion at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors on Saturday. "Don't just give us the same old same old. On the remake of Hellraiser, I had some suggestions for the guys who revisit the story to keep its integrity but then give it something new. I think you have to."
Barker appeared alongside original stars Ashley Laurence and Doug Bradley for a Hellraiser reunion. Barker, Laurence and Bradley all offered their opinions about the forthcoming remake. The following is an edited version of that conversation.
The movie will get a reboot soon under French director Pascal Laugier (Martyrs). The remake hasn't been shot yet, and Laugier is still writing the script, which will have a very different look and feel for Pinhead.
Barker: We are going to see a remaking of Hellraiser, and I said I would watch over that as the sort of godfather of it, but my first question when Bob Weinstein said he was going to do it was "Why? Was the first one not good enough?" Maybe that's a bit defensive, but it's how I felt, and I put a lot of my heart into that. Yes, of course you can do things with special effects that you couldn't do back then, but there's a part of me that still prefers the 1933 King Kong to the one [Peter Jackson did]. Don't get me wrong, and I don't use this word lightly, but I think Peter Jackson's a genius, and I've seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy 10 or 11 times. They're amazing movies. But I would have preferred he spent two years of his time making something we haven't seen rather than remaking something we have. And when somebody who is a cinematic genius like Jackson comes along, or like [Guillermo] del Toro, they're only on the planet for a certain amount of time, and you want people of that kind of caliber to be using their talents to create new things.
Doug Bradley: Can I paraphrase a line from Hellraiser in relation to this, which is my feeling? No more remakes, please. It's a waste of celluloid.
Ashley Laurence: I actually agree with what you're saying, but I also think the story [Clive] wrote is so important that if it needs to take a new form for another generation, that's OK. I think it's important, and I think it may not be assimilated the same way, so if the essence of the story is there, I think it's OK.
Barker: My thing is that there are some pieces of magic like [Pinhead], for instance, that if they screw up and don't put him in the center of the movie, or they put too much of him in the movie, which is also a mistake ... You know what I mean!
Doug Bradley: My feeling, and this is from meeting 20 years of fans at conventions, is that there is a new generation finding this movie for the first time all of the time, and finding it fresh. It hits them between the eyes and in the pit of their stomach and in the depths of their imagination just as much for an audience 20 years ago when it was first released. It seems to me there is more interest in Hellraiser now than at any time in the last 20 years, and I don't have any sense that the movie has aged. OK, there's a degree of big hair and padded [shoulders] that tells you it's the 1980s, but the genius of what Clive did was with the Cenobites. I've always said you could take the Cenobites out of Hellraiser and you would have a fairly dull but kind of serviceable slasher movie. But the Cenobites in it make the movie ageless and timeless. You can go to the Cenobites in 20, 30, 40, 50 years' time, they will not have aged. They're out of time, and that is, I think, [Clive's] stroke of genius in the movie.