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Director Patrick Lussier On The Hellraiser Remake: We're Not Retelling Clive Barker's Story

As with any remake of a beloved film, there is naturally some concern about the remake of Clive Barker's Hellraiser. So much of what makes the original great is not only Barker's direction, but his passion for material, which he developed first as a book, The Hellbound Heart, before turning it into the 1987 film. Fortunately, this isn't something lost on Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer, the two men put in charge of the remake last October.

This afternoon I attended the press junket for Lussier and Farmer's new film, Drive Angry 3D and sitting down with them in a 0ne-on-one interview we discussed the project at length. For starters, the pair has two other projects currently in development - Halloween 3D and Condition Dead - and while Hellraiser is most likely going to be their next venture, they also assured me that they would be ready to go with Halloween tomorrow should someone ask. At the same time, they aren't even sure what the future of the project is, Lussier saying, "Given what that is, is the window sort of closed for that? It’s all up to the people that are way above our pay grade."

Following that, the discussion turned to the Hellraiser remake, which they understand irks some people in the wrong way. Asking what they would say to concerned fans, Lussier outlined the difference between certain horror remakes, including their own My Bloody Valentine, and explained that they aren't planning to retell Clive's story.

"I think the biggest thing is, and we talked about this a lot recently, is that we have no intention of remaking Clive’s movie. Clive’s movie is obviously not like remaking My Bloody Valentine, or Happy Birthday To Me, or Terror Train or Prom Night – those are all very specific movies at a specific time with a specific purpose. As fun as they are, and that’s not to take away from them, they were clearly business ventures. Hellraiser, obviously, was not. It was a personal story for Clive and Clive is a true artist. It didn’t feel right to us to retell Clive’s story. That’s Clive’s story. At the same time, there have been a variety of Hellraiser movies and movies that play within the world that he created. And none of them have really gone behind the curtain of what that world is. So that was basically what we offered up to Dimension Films as something unique and different that stays true to Clive’s originality, but, at the same time, pays no disrespect to it."

With that in mind I was naturally curious if that meant Pinhead and the other cenobites would be in the film. While slow to say it (he preceded his answer with a long "Ummmmmm"), Lussier did say yes. The reason for the hesitance? As Farmer explained, "Some things we just want to keep as a surprise." They did, however, confirm that they have begun the character design process.

Stay tuned for my full interview with Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer tomorrow, where we talk about Drive Angry 3D, Nicolas Cage's hair, and getting beaten up by Amber Heard.

Eric Eisenberg
Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.