The Latest on the Hellraiser Remake
Most remakes make the news after a writer, directer, and cast are announced. Well; most typical remakes that is!! But there’s nothing “typical” about Hellraiser (or its remake). When Hellraiser first hit theaters back in 1987 it took the world of horror by storm. With its seamless blending of gothic and modern horror, Hellraiser pushed the envelop on both storytelling and in graphic special f/x. So when the remake was announced back in 2006 there was a collective “fuck me” that reverberated from the horror world. Who, I repeat, WHO would have the balls to try and take on a modern classic movie written by a modern master of the genre??
When the remake was first announced back on November 10th, 2006 (see the original announcement here), Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury were attached to direct. Hhmmm. I suddenly felt my world shift under my feet. I mean these were the two responsible for the fucking brutal and incredible French flick Inside (2007). I hope you’ve seen that one; if not, stop what you’re doing and go see it RIGHT NOW. Bustillo and Maury gave us some truly disturbing images in Inside that I’m sure shocked Clive Barker himself. I figured if they’re gonna go forward with a remake they may as well go with directors who’ve proven they can deliver a strong story with TONS of gore and fucked-up images (sounds perfect for Hellraiser).
News of the remake suddenly dried up and there was the announcement that production of the remake was pushed back to a 2009 release. But even more discouraging was that Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan were brought on to write the screenplay. Now don’t get me wrong; I like some of their work (a lot). Melton and Dunstan wrote the Feast trilogy (love it), The Collector (really enjoyed), and wrote Saw 4-7 (not a fan). Its not that I don’t like them; I just don’t think they are the right people for the job. Sure they make gory movies, but they lack the depth and subtly needed for a Hellraiser flick. You need over-the-top, gonzo writing that’s fast paced and full of titties and gore? Dunstan and Melton are your guys.
Then news surfaced that Bustillo and Maury dropped out of the project (uh-oh), but they were replaced with Pascal Laugier … the GENIUS behind 2008’s Martyrs. Hopefully everyone knows my thoughts on Martyrs: The BEST genre flick to come out in the last decade. It’s well written, gory, moody, has tons of atmosphere, and is miles above anything else done in the genre. I got excited again!! Not only was he gonna direct, he was gonna write the remake with another unknown writer. I really thought Laugier could pull off the Hellraiser remake!! Then on June 4th, 2009 Laugier dropped outta the project. WTF???
So here we are in April 2010 and there is yet more news about the remake. Attached to direct now is Anthony DiBlasi, director of the extremely well-made Dread (2009). So far I think everyone they had attached to direct were great choices. I’m also guessing that Melton and Dunstan have dropped out of the project too (there’s no mention of the Hellraiser remake listed on their IMDB.com resumes). So here’s my idea: Hold onto DiBlasi. After his directorial debut with Dread he’s definitely a talent on the rise (plus he has served as producer on a few other Barker projects). And as far as a writer goes: How about throwing some cash at Barker himself. I really only think Barker could improve on a Barker story. Just a thought.
I’ll keep ya posted on any personnel changes as I learn of them. What do you think about the rich history of this remake project? It’s already been 4 years, 3 directors, and 2 writers since we first heard the announcement of the remake. What other curve balls could possibly be thrown at this production?? Leave your thoughts and let me know.
Please note that recent info has come up which proves DiBlasi WILL NOT be directing the Hellraiser remake. Please see my correction here.