If you’re a Hellraiser fan you probably remember that the film opens and centers on Frank, a not-so-nice-guy who gets his hands on Lemarchand’s box, which eventually leads to the surfacing of Pinhead and the nasty Cenobites that take things to a very… Hellish level of brutality. Those who haven’t seen the film in years tend to remember Pinhead and his clan first and foremost, but there’s much more to this story than that, and the amazingly talented Patrick Lussier (who helmed the surprisingly awesome My Bloody Valentine remake and the aggressively entertaining Drive Angry, among other films) had serious designs on exploring those details.
Speaking with Joe Lynch and Adam Green on their popular “The Movie Crypt” podcast, Lussier divulged some details on the Hellraiser picture he yearned to make with professional partner Todd Farmer for The Weinstein Company.
The two aimed to outline the events that occurred prior to Hellraiser, bringing to light Frank’s mission to obtain the box, which could in turn alter and reveal some different origins of Pinhead. And the idea sounds compelling; the kind of idea that could liven up an already savage story.
“We wanted to make another movie with [William] Fichtner,” states Lussier, who directed the actor in Drive Angry.
“The idea essentially was that we never see the story of Frank getting the box. So imagine if Frank is actually the darkest version of Jack Bauer (from “24”) and Nicolas Cage from National Treasure. It would have been the evil National Treasure story.”
Lussier continues: “In the beginning [Frank] is going to get the box, and he’s in Shanghai. He gets caught and they hold him down and they hammer these fucking nails into his head, but he gets free and kills everyone. But he does get the box which is being held by this guy who looks like he’s all bloated and has been ripped apart by the Cenobites. Frank steals the box and then… bad things happen.”
If any prequel concept has ever sounded cool, it’s this one. And knowing how well Lussier and Farmer work together, there’s good reason to believe this may have been a marvelous Launchpad that could have actually led the franchise down a different path. Lord knows – after seeing the last handful of Hellraiser pictures – the franchise needs some serious help.
But that won’t be happening, and anyway, it may very well be far too late to salvage a once promising series. Outside of the first three features, Hellraiser has been a dud of a brand that chose to put the spotlight on Pinhead rather than the intricacies of the true conflict, which is a serious shame. It’s also a serious shame that we’ll likely never see Lussier and Farmer work their magic to help save this fading franchise.