For horror fans, actor Doug Bradley’s name has become synonymous with the Hellraiser franchise thanks to his iconic portrayal of the lead cenobite–lovingly named Pinhead by the fans. It may be hard to believe, considering how large Bradley’s shadow looms over the franchise now, but the actor is barely on screen for more than a few minutes in the first Hellraiser film–adapted brilliantly by Clive Barker from his own novella The Hellbound Heart. Now the actor is speaking out on Hulu’s Hellraiser redesign of the character he helped make iconic.
Pinhead is one of horror’s great icons, and Doug Bradley played the role of Pinhead dutifully through the franchise's highs and lows–and unfortunately, there are a lot of lows–until Bradley was unceremoniously replaced for the franchise's ninth and tenth installments. While some fans may be skeptical about the upcoming Hulu reboot, thanks to how disposable many of the sequels have felt, one person isn't skeptical, and that's the Hell Priest actor himself, Doug Bradley.
Bradley took to his Twitter to express his excitement for the Pinhead redesign sharing being a "bit blown away"
I’m a bit blown away by this! The clever re-design of the make-up;the shimmer of the “pin heads”;the palette;whatever that keyhole/locket/tracheotomy thing is at the throat. It’s simple, subtle, disturbing and sexy. Everything it should be.Peace and Pain,Doug ✌🏼🤘🏼🔥⛓ #pinhead pic.twitter.com/Ph4eoO1ge7September 30, 2022
I agree with Bradley–the new Pinhead design is simple, subtle, and disturbingly beautiful. My excitement for Hellraiser’s release has steadily grown since Jamie Clayton gave us our first look at her take on Pinhead.
Besides these 6 quick things we know about Hulu’s Hellraiser reimagining, we know Director David Bruckner– who directed 2020's brilliantly reviewed The Night House mystery/thriller – wanted the reboot’s reimagining of Pinhead to be closer to Clive Barker’s original vision for the character. While the gruesome grids of Bradley’s era remain, gone are the simple nails, now replaced with glistening jewel-like pins that will make readers of Barker’s original novella very happy.
In CinemaBlend's exclusive interview, you can listen to director David Bruckner discuss what made Jamie Clayton the perfect Pinhead ahead of release, as well.
For most fans, the first three films in the Hellraiser franchise are the gold standard. From the fourth film, Hellraiser: Bloodline–also known as Pinhead in space–onward, the films progressively get worst and dip in quality. If there was ever a franchise ready for a reboot or reimagining, Hellraiser is it.
After Hulu so successfully rebooted the Predator franchise with the critically acclaimed Prey, I’m as excited as Doug Bradley to see what they have in store for us with the Hellraiser reimagining. While Hulu’s busy rebooting many of my favorite horror franchises, could the streamer look at these eight franchises prime for a reboot, possibly set in the past?
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Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing. An expert in all things horror, Ryan enjoys covering a wide variety of topics. He's also a lifelong comic book fan and an avid watcher of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.