EXCLUSIVE: 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 that brings to the small screen for the first time Pinhead, the iconic pincushion-domed villain who heads a group of pasty-faced villains sent from hell, known as the Cenobites.
The series will be written by genre and action vets Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica, 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.
The producers 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. Expect a revisit from 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 antagonist 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.
CAA reps Green; Verheiden is Untitled and Dougherty Circle of Confusion, and Lee by CAA; Farah by attorney Matt Galsor of Greenberg Glusker.