While it’s only been two years since the last film in the Hellraiser series of films, HBO is now planning a new Hellraiser series for television with Hellraiser’s creator Clive Barker on board.
A return to the Hellraiser series has been in discussion since 2018, after the success of David Gordon Green’s Halloween. At the time, Blumhouse was considering new installments of the Scream and Hellraiser series. While Scream will be getting the fifth film in its series, it was announced in April that Hellraiser would instead get its own HBO series. While the show was only announced earlier this year, the Hellraiser rights were originally secured back in June of 2019.
Clive Barker, who wrote the novella The Hellbound Heart, which the Hellraiser series was based on, will be an executive producer for the upcoming adaptation. While Barker wrote and directed the first film in the series, 1987’s Hellraiser, this was his only attempt at directing within the series, however, he did return to co-writer the second installment, Hellbound: Hellraiser II in 1988.
David Gordon Green will also be acting as executive producer, alongside his Rough House Pictures partners Danny McBride, Jody Hill, and Brandon James who also worked on Halloween with Green. While Green is already signed on to direct the Hellraiser series pilot and several other episodes, although it’s not clear how many.
The Hellraiser series will be written by Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) and Michael Dougherty (Trick r’ Treat). Verheiden will also be showrunner. Previously, Verheiden has written and executive produced such shows as Swamp Thing, Ash vs Evil Dead, Constantine and Hemlock Grove.
David Gordon Green’s career has taken a sharp turn into horror, and now the Hellraiser series, over the last few years. Green got his start in indie dramas he wrote and directed, such as 2000’s George Washington, 2003’s All the Real Girls and 2007’s Snow Angels. Green slowly started to move into comedies like 2008’s Pineapple Express, and 2011’s Your Highness and The Sitter. His career since has been a combination of smaller dramas, like 2013’s Prince Avalanche and Joe, and studio fare, such as 2015’s Sandra Bullock-led Our Brand Is Crisis and 2017’s Jake Gyllenhaal drama Stronger.
But 2018’s Halloween was the biggest success of David Gordon Green’s career, making $255 million worldwide, and making it the highest-grossing film in the Halloween franchise. Green soon signed on to turn his vision for the series into a trilogy, with Halloween Kills planned for an October 25, 2021 release, and Halloween Ends, set for an October 14, 2022 release. With this newfound interest in horror, Green might be the perfect director for the Hellraiser series.
Yet David Gordon Green’s television history, mostly with Rough House, has largely leaned towards comedy. This year, Green directed an episode of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, and has previously directed for shows like The Righteous Gemstones, Vice Principals, and Eastbound & Down. It will be interesting to see how Green brings his horror style to a Hellraiser series.
Despite Hellraiser reaching the height of its popularity in the 1980s, the Hellraiser series has been going strong for decades. Since debuting in 1987, the series has had ten films. Most recently, 2018’s Hellraiser: Judgment, which was supposed to act as a reboot for the series, although it’s not clear how the television show will follow up with the films.
Beyond the films, the series has also had its own novels, several comic book runs, and there have been several planned video games, however, none of these has come to fruition. Yet this Hellraiser series for HBO would likely be the biggest product for the Hellraiser since the 1980s.
Clive Barker has said about this new Hellraiser series that he is “delighted the Hellraiser mythology is seeing a new life. It’s time the stories went back to their roots. I’m eager to bring to a new audience the most powerful and ancient elements of horror: the darkest evil invading out human lives and how we must find in ourselves the power to resist it.”
With Clive Barker and David Gordon Green signed on and the creative team coming into place, it seems as though the Hellraiser series is ready to start moving right along, although it’s not clear when the series will start filming or be released. With Green already done filming his Halloween trilogy, now it’s time for him to focus his attention on puzzle boxes, Cenobites, and the disturbing Pinhead. If anyone can reboot Hellraiser with a fresh new take, it’s certainly Barker and Green.