*Updated with the official press release.* It sounds like Pinhead will be making his small screen debut thanks to producers Roy Lee (IT) and Dan Farah (Ready Player One).
Press Release: HOLLYWOOD - Producers Roy Lee (IT, The Exorcist, Bates Motel, The Grudge, The Ring) and Dan Farah (Ready Player One) have joined forces with producers/rights holders Lawrence Kuppin, David Salzman and Eric Gardner, to produce an original series based on the iconic Hellraiser horror franchise. The search for a visionary writer-showrunner is underway, with several A-list names and networks already circling the project.
One of the most terrifying franchises in film history, this will mark the television series debut for Hellraiser. Originally based on Clive Barker's 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, Hellraiser quickly evolved into a global pop-culture phenomenon. In addition to ten films, the franchise has also spawned a book anthology, comic books, apparel, DVDs and myriad globally licensed products. The first film was featured on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments and is perennially cited as one of the scariest movies of all time.
Centering on the elegantly Machiavellian antagonist Pinhead and the infamous Lament Configuration (the puzzle box which opens the portal to what appears to be Hell), the series will incorporate the elements of classic Hellraiser mythology while delivering a modern re-imagining of the seminal brand for television.
The horror genre has been extremely hot and in demand lately, with AMC’s The Walking Dead, Netflix’s Amblin produced Haunting of Hill House, Netflix’s Stranger Things, HBO’s True Blood, SyFy’s Channel Zero, and Ryan Murphy / FX’s American Horror Story, increasing the appetite for more horror across more and more small screen platforms.
“With the current proliferation of hit horror-themed series, we decided the time was finally at hand to take the Hellraiser TV rights off the shelf,” said Gardner. “Now with the addition of Roy and Dan, we have assembled the quintessential Dream Team, or may I say Nightmare Team.”
Said Salzman: “Hellraiser is an internationally recognizable brand with one of the most memorable uber-villains of all time and a built-in multi-generational fan base.”
ROY LEE: Producing under his Vertigo Entertainment banner, Roy Lee’s films have grossed well over 2 billion dollars. His film credits include the blockbuster IT, The Lego franchise, The Departed, The Ring franchise, The Grudge franchise, and the upcoming IT: Chapter Two, and Doctor Sleep. His TV credits include The Exorcist, Bates Motel, and the upcoming The Stand.
DAN FARAH: Amongst his producing credits is the recent blockbuster Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Ernest Cline's New York Times #1 Best Seller. The movie grossed $582 Million at the worldwide box office. He is an Exec Producer on Burden, starring Academy Award winner, Forest Whitaker, and Garrett Hedlund, which will be released in theaters Nov 1 and is already receiving Oscar buzz. Under his Farah Films banner, Farah also Exec Produced the epic fantasy series, The Shannara Chronicles, now found streaming on Netflix, and based on Terry Brook’s best selling fantasy books, as well as Famous In Love, now streaming on Hulu, based on the novel by Rebecca Serle. He has numerous high profile projects in development, including the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s international best seller, Armada, for Universal, and he is an Executive Producer on the remake of The Crow.
LARRY KUPPIN was co-owner and co-chairman of New World Entertainment, a mini-major studio which encompassed several divisions including New World Pictures, New World Television (one of the largest suppliers of network programming headed by Jon Feltheimer), and New World Home Video, and also owned Marvel Entertainment and several television stations. NWE produced the first two Hellraiser films. Shortly after NWE was sold to Ronald Perelman in 1989, Kuppin re-purchased the NWE library of 125 films and subsequently produced Hellraiser III and IV; Hellraiser III became the nascent Dimension Films’ first release. Dimension subsequently bought out the Hellraiser theatrical rights and produced six additional features.
DAVID SALZMAN's career encompasses heading two #1 Hollywood studios, four successful startup companies, two magazines, twelve television stations and more than 20,000 hours of television productions, plus three turnarounds as CEO/Co-CEO. Some highlights: CEO of Group W Productions, co-founder of Telepictures, and Lorimar TV studio chief. As president of Lorimar Telepictures he created, developed, and/or supervised more than 100 network and syndicated series, including Dallas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, Full House, ALF, The Peoples’ Court and Love Connection. He subsequently founded QDE with partner Quincy Jones. His extensive writing/executive producing credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and MADtv, as well as Tony-winning Broadway shows.
ERIC GARDNER founded Panacea Entertainment in 1970 as the world's first rock and roll tour coordination company; initial clients included the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and KISS. By 1974 Panacea's emphasis had shifted to music management; its roster included the Stray Cats, the Sex Pistols, Todd Rundgren, Blue Oyster Cult, and Hot Tuna among many others, as well as members of the Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. In 1981 Gardner expanded into film and television as both manager and producer; past and current clients in that division include Richard Belzer, Paul Shaffer, Donny Osmond, Timothy Leary, the Blues Brothers brand, David Hasselhoff, and Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson. His Las Vegas division launched the Donny & Marie show at The Flamingo, produced Ringo Starr’s Planet Hollywood residency, and Paul Shaffer’s ongoing mini-residencies at Caesars Palace. His next production, Sharknado – The Musical will be opening in 2020.
Previously: According to Deadline, Lawrence Kuppin, David Salzman and Eric Gardner bought the TV rights from New World in 1989 and they're teaming up with Lee and Farah for this new series:
"The intention is to use the mythology established in the movie franchise and the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart as a launch pad for a new series that could be anthology, or a more traditional narrative."
Development is in the VERY early stages, so a showrunner has not yet been announced, and it's still too early to know whether this will wind up at a network or streaming service.
This project is unrelated to the Hellraiser movie reboot / re-imagining that David S. Goyer is going to write and produce for Spyglass Media Group. For more details on that project, make sure to check out our previous coverage! My hope for both projects is that they keep Clive Barker creatively involved, and these projects are certainly encouraging for Hellraiser fans who have had to endure direct-to-video sequels for nearly two decades.