Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer had written a brand new Hellraiser film for the Weinstein’s a few years ago, and fans were expecting to have seen the film by now. However, the film was cancelled by the Weinstein’s and sadly it doesn’t look like fans will ever get the chance to see it.
It’s a shame as Lussier has a proven track record, with films including Drive Angry, My Bloody Valentine and White Noise 2 showing the director could have pulled off a half decent Hellraiser film. The idea for his Hellraiser film was to make a prequel, and during a podcast on Adam Green’s The Movie Crypt, Lussier revealed exactly what he had in store for Hellraiser fans:
“We wanted to make another movie with [William] Fichtner [from Drive Angry]. Imagine two posters… Imagine Bill Fichtner on one in black combat gear, like tactical gear… He’s got a gun in his hand and he’s got three big fuckin’ nails hammered into his forehead that are dripping blood and he’s holding something in his hand, and the poster just says, ‘Rabbit.’ Then [for the second poster, it would be Fichtner’s] hand and he’s holding the box and the [poster would read], ‘Rabbit Hole,’ and that’s it.”
“The idea essentially was that we never see the story of Frank getting the box. So imagine if Frank is actually the darkest version of [“24’s”] Jack Bauer and [the] Nicolas Cage [character] from National Treasure. It would have been the evil National Treasure story.”
“In the beginning [Frank] is going to get the box, and he’s in Shanghai. He gets caught and they [the captors] hold him down and they hammer these fucking nails into his head, but he gets free and kills everyone. But he does get the box which is being held by this guy who looks like he’s all bloated and has been ripped apart by the Cenobites. Frank steals the box and then… bad things happen.”
Fichtner’s Frank would eventually become Pinhead in the film, and it was the poster design that sold it to the Weinstein’s. Hellraiser creator Clive Barker was said to have never been involved, and there were three different versions developed, none of which were like Lussier and Farmer’s version.
Doug Bradley was due to return as Pinhead in one of the versions, but he would not appear until the end of the film. Cenobites were due to appear in all three versions.
The idea of Lussier and Farmer’s sounds great, and it’s a real shame that the Weinstein’s decided against it. Horror fans adore Hellraiser and the idea behind it, and even though the majority of the sequels continued a downward spiral, fans were still happy watching them so I feel the Weinstein’s have missed a trick passing up on this.