Halloween’s David Gordon Green To Direct HBO ‘Hellraiser’ Series

HBO has made a deal to develop a series from the classic horror franchise Hellraiser, with Halloween helmer David Gordon Green set to direct the pilot and several more initial episodes.

The series will be written by genre and action vets Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Gallactica, Daredevil, Heroes), and Michael Dougherty (X-Men United, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Trick r’ Treat). All of them will be executive producers alongside Farah Films’ Dan Farah, Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee, along with Lawrence Kuppin and David Salzman and Panacea Entertainment’s Eric Gardner. Rough House Pictures partners Green, Danny McBride Jody Hill and Brandon James round out the EP team. Farah Films exec Andrew Farah, and Adam Salzman will also serve as co-exec producers.

Lee (It) and Farah (Ready Player One) put together the rights package last June, based on the Hellraiser film franchise hatched from Clive Barker’s novella The Hellbound Heart. The idea is to create an elevated continuation and expansion of the well-established Hellraiser mythology. It is by no means a remake, but rather assumes the past mythology to be a given. The centerpiece remains Pinhead, the merciless leader of the Cenobites, the formerly humans-turned-demons that live in an extra-dimensional realm and are activated through a puzzle box called the Lament Configuration. The Cenobites come from hell to harvest human souls and keep balance between good and evil.

The series of films features a mysterious puzzle box that opens a gateway to another horrifying dimension where demonic Cenobites torture and punish victims in grotesque and horrifying ways. The original film debuted in 1987 and quickly cemented Pinhead as one of the most iconic villains in horror history. As compared to other genre figures like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, Pinhead was a much more demonic presence and subjected his victims to truly grotesque tortures.

Despite how well known the series was, Hellraiser: Judgment director Gary J. Tunnicliffe claimed that the resurrection of the teen-oriented slashers of the late ’90s led to the series’ downfall.

“I got a call to go in and meet with Bob about a Hellraiser story I pitched called ‘Holy War,’ and I was maybe talking about directing that was that,” Tunnicliffe shared with ComicBook.com. “That week Scream came out and did its business, and then Bob and the guys, rightly so, were like, ‘Oh, look, let’s try and figure out this guy with the nails in his head and this weird sexual stuff. Look, Scream, there it is. Ka-ching. It’s easy, it works. It’s a f-cking guy in a mask going around with a big knife chopping up teenagers.'”

He added, “It’s brilliantly conceived by [screenwriter] Kevin Williamson turning it on its head. But it was so much easier for them to get their head around, and to work with because that’s the problem when you’re trying to, even as a writer, whether it be Revelations, or Judgment, or whatever I’ve been involved in when ever you’re trying to give these people … It’s literally like f-cking chopped.”

The antagonist Pinhead has remained a pop culture icon for 35 years and 10 films and all the attendant merchandising.

Landing Green is a coup. The filmmaker pivoted from Stronger, an inspiring drama chronicling Jeff Bauman’s inspiring fight back from losing his legs in the Boston Marathon explosion, and revamped the John Carpenter horror classic Halloween, making a $10 million budget film that grossed $255 million worldwide. He signed on to shoot the sequels Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. He’s in post on the first one.

There is a separate Hellraiser film project in development at Spyglass that is unrelated to the series.

Posted by justin orman thompson

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