The puzzle of what direction a new "Hellraiser" reboot could thrive may have been solved by Sonar Entertainment, which is currently poised to develop it for television.
And by television, hopefully we are talking cable and not a NBC sitcom.
Sonar Entertainment is co-developing the series with Eric Gardner of Panacea Entertainment. Gardner will executive produce the show along with Larry Kuppin, whose company New World Entertainment launched 1987's "Hellraiser" and 1988's "Hellbound: Hellraiser II."
With HBO, FX and AMC cranking out one high-quality show after another, Clive Barker's tale of tantalizing puzzle boxes, tortured souls and masochistic Cenobites could use the benefits of a season's worth of running time on cable. Not to mention the freedom to fully embrace the gore and sexual aspects of Barker's story. That leeway is essential.
Talk of a film adaption still persists as well. A remake from "Drive Angry" director Patrick Lussier and writer Todd Farmer has been tossed about; however, they are currently tied up with bringing Michael Myers back to theaters with "Halloween III."
Then last year there was the stunningly forgettable release of "Hellraiser: Revelations," a low-budget, straight-to-DVD sequel to the original films that was only made by Dimension Films to retain the franchise's rights, which were apparently in jeopardy if a production didn't move forward by the end of 2010. That's type of production is an example of what fans don't need.
Regardless, films can't compete with cable. The MPAA and theaters, which have effectively derailed NC-17 and unrated content, have seen to that -- a movie rating system that affects a film's substance and story is inane.
Of course you can always wait for the unrated DVD, Blu-ray or download, but cable is an outstanding solution. AMC's "The Walking Dead," Starz's Spartacus series and HBO's "Game of Thrones" have pushed boundaries with impressive results. In fact, Barker recently said Spartacus is redefining "gruesome."
And Barker is an author noted for pushing boundaries. His 1986 novella "The Hellbound Heart," which spawned the Hellraiser franchise, is the type of adult material that needs room to breath in all its gooey glory.
Moreover, perhaps a "Hellraiser" television series could eventually tie into the highly anticipated official sequel to "The Hellbound Heart" called "The Scarlet Gospels." In that upcoming book, Pinhead finally receives an official name, and he faces off with private investigator Harry D'Amour of Barker's short story "The Last Illusion." Remember him? D'Amour was played by Scott Bakula on the big screen in 1995's "Lord of Illusions."
Pinhead versus D'Amour, now that's a story arc worth watching.
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