Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson seems like he might be teasing making a return to the Hellraiser horror franchise for a new movie. Based on the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart, Barker himself directed 1987’s first film in what would become the Hellraiser franchise, and remained involved creatively with 1988’s direct sequel Hellbound: Hellraiser II. After that, the series basically left Barker’s work behind and started its own thing, albeit at least mostly while trying to maintain the feel of the Hellraiser universe.
1992’s Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth turned Cenobite leader Pinhead into a Freddy Krueger-esque quipping slasher villain, while 1996’s Hellraiser: Bloodline sent the priest of Hell into outer space. After that movie flopped at the box office, Hellraiser was banished to the land of direct to video for every sequel since. Horror icon Doug Bradley would continue playing Pinhead through the eighth film, 2005’s Hellraiser: Hellworld. The Weinstein Company would pump out quickie sequels Hellraiser: Revelations in 2011 and Hellraiser: Judgment 2018 as well, in order to retain the rights to the franchise. Judgment got decent enough reviews from fans, while Revelations was widely seen as an unmitigated disaster.
One reason such measures were resorted to is that a theatrical Hellraiser remake, reboot, or belated sequel has been stuck in Hollywood’s own hellish development netherworld for over a decade. Barker himself was even attached to write the script at one point, before things fell through. Outside of Jason Blum recently teasing a Blumhouse resurrection of the franchise, there hasn’t been a peep about the future of Hellraiser. Now, curiously, Derrickson has taken to Twitter to share a humorous, albeit darkly so, meme featuring Hellraiser’s notorious Lament Configuration box. Is this hinting at Derrickson directing a new Hellraiser film, or just simply him having fun? The filmmaker isn’t saying, despite some fans responding to his tweet with that very question.
What makes one wonder more than anything is that Derrickson isn’t a stranger to the Hellraiser franchise. Early in his career, Derrickson directed 2000’s Hellraiser: Inferno, the first and what most fans consider best of the direct to video films. Derrickson would also direct several more horror films before graduating to the big budget arena with the MCU’s Doctor Strange. If he wanted to return to Hellraiser, one assumes studios would be keen to let him give it a shot, especially if that studio was in fact Blumhouse, which worked with Derrickson on the Sinister series.
That all said, we’re obviously just speculating for now, that is until if and when Derrickson himself clarifies whether or not the image he shared had any deeper significance than earning a laugh from his followers. Still, the thought of Derrickson getting another shot at directing a Hellraiser movie is sure to delight many diehard horror fans. Barker’s once-mighty demonic world deserves better than residing in direct to video purgatory.
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Source: Scott Derrickson