The Original Pinhead Speaks Up About Hellraiser Reboot With Female Pinhead

Hellraiser is changing things completely with a new reboot. This reboot will bring in a female Pinhead, and now the original Pinhead has spoken about this drastic change.

By Joshua Jones | Published


A new Hellraiser reboot is set to premiere this October. The project is produced by David S. Goyer, who is known for his work on the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. The reboot will introduce fans to a female Pinhead, played by actress Jamie Clayton. During an appearance at Silver Scream Con, original Pinhead actor, Doug Bradley, spoke candidly about the new casting. Despite some fan backlash over the casting, Bradley seems more open to the idea of a new interpretation of Pinhead.

“It seemed like [a female Pinhead] was coming. It’s an interesting piece of casting. I don’t know Jamie… I’m not familiar with her recent work, but there was a science fiction series on Netflix several years ago called Sense8, which I was quite a fan of… I do like to point out that I did wear a skirt as Pinhead… We say ‘female Pinhead’ like we know what that means, but there are a million shades of femininity. Where exactly are they going to go with that? Everything about Hellraiser has always been transgressive. Everything, always, from start to finish… The thing that will make the movie work or not is none of that. It’s the story. If the story is strong, the movie will work.”

Bradley and the creators of the original Pinhead ended up making the character their own following the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart. The original 1987 film divided critics upon its release but later became a cult classic amongst horror cinephiles. After his turn as the iconic horror character in the first film, Bradley would go on to reprise the role in the subsequent seven sequels. He didn’t return to play the character for the 2011 installment titled Hellraiser: Revelations.

Word of the Hellraiser reboot resurfaced after Barker announced his involvement in the project as a producer. Barker was detached from the project for years following a lengthy legal battle. He regained the rights to the story on December 19, 2021. The premise of Hellraiser revolves around a mysterious box that opens the door to the underworld run by Cenobites, the leader of which is Pinhead. The character was referred to in early drafts as simply “the priest” before those working in production and make-up gave him the Pinhead nickname. In the comic series, the Cenobites refer to Pinhead as holding the title of “the Hell Priest” or “the Pontifex.” Interestingly, Barker stated that he hates the Pinhead name and cemented the character as “the Hell Priest” in the 2015 novel The Scarlet Gospels. With Barker’s participation in the reboot, one must wonder if the film will take some creative liberties regarding the character’s origin.

While the new Hellraiser reboot does have some fans raising their brows at Jamie Clayton’s casting, there’s no denying her acting credits. The actress starred in numerous projects, including The L Word: Generation Q, Sense8, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and more. She was also featured in the documentary Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen. It’s unclear whether the reboot will change any aspects that have made Pinhead such a recognizable horror character. The reboot comes after the success of 2018’s Halloween, which saw the return of another horror iconic, Michael Myers. That film grossed over $250 million at the box office, making it the highest grossing in the entire franchise. The success of the 2018 film allowed the studio to develop two other installments.

Although the Hellraiser reboot does already have a lot of doubters, the execution of the project could change a lot of those doubters’ opinions. The film will premiere exclusively on Hulu during the Halloween season. Its only other competition, oddly enough, is the next installment of the Halloween franchise, Halloween Ends, which premieres both in theaters and on Peacock on October 14th. Marketing for the reboot began last week with a creepy 15-second teaser. The teaser didn’t reveal anything in terms of plot or story, but it did remind fans of the franchise that the film is coming soon.