Hellraiser‘s Pinhead is back! But he, or rather she isn’t what he used to be.
Doug Bradley played the iconic horror character who looks like he left his acupuncture appointment early in eight of the ten Hellraiser films. Stephan Smith Collins and Fred Tatasciore split the body and voice duties respectively on Pinhead in 2011’s Hellraiser: Revelations and Paul T. Taylor played him in the last of the films: 2018’s Hellraiser: Judgment. But per The Hollywood Reporter, now that the franchise is being rebooted it will not be a man, but Jamie Clayton — known best for her roles in Sense8 and The L Word: Generation Q — playing the horrifying Cenobite who looks like a few dozen nurses all tried, and failed, simultaneously to insert the thermometer in the correct part of their patient’s head.
Hellraiser, released in 1987, was the directorial debut of horror writer Clive Barker. The story was based on his 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, about a crazy puzzle box which summons the hellish, extra-dimensional Cenobites. Thanks to a lawsuit settlement from last year, Barker will reclaim the American film rights by the end of this December, and far from being too protective of his original vision, Barker has signed on to the new Hellraiser as a producer. Barker said the designs for the new film show that the filmmakers are looking to “honor the original,” while at the same time they “revolutionize it for a new generation.”
There was a pretty big hint a couple of months ago that the filmmakers for the new Hellraiser were looking to shake things up when it comes to the iconic horror character who looks to be storing sewing needles for about two dozen different grandmas. In July, makeup artist Gottmik — one of the Season 13 finalists for RuPaul‘s Drag Race — told Entertainment Weekly that the Hellraiser crew had invited them to audition for the role of Pinhead. Gottmik had put together a stunning Pinhead-inspired runway look for the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 finale, which got the filmmakers’ attention.
Obviously Gottmik didn’t get the part, and they told EW they completely understood why. They said they wanted the part “more than anything,” but ultimately with their charming personality they just weren’t menacing enough. Gottmik said they are still hoping, however, to get invited to the Hellraiser premiere. “I just want to be there,” they said. “I’ll just be in the background next to Pinhead!”
David Bruckner (Night House), whose designs for the upcoming Hellraiser floored Barker, will be directing the film. Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski wrote the screenplay, with story by David S. Goyer (Dark City). Joining Jamie Clayton in the cast are Odessa A’zion (Conception), Goran Visnjic (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Drew Starkey (Love, Simon), Brandon Flynn (13 Reasons Why), Aoife Hinds (Derry Girls), Hiam Abbass (Blade Runner 2049), Selina Lo (Boss Level), and Adam Faison (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
According to Variety, principal photography just wrapped on Hellraiser and the film will be debuting on Hulu some time in 2022.