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Hellraiser DVD release to save new film

Hellraiser.jpgIt's a rather interesting idea that a direct to DVD release for a franchise is going to save the next cinema outing for it, but that's exactly what Dimension are hoping, otherwise they lose the rights to the franchise of Hellraiser.

Now some of you might be thinking that's a good thing considering how long we've been waiting for a new Hellraiser film, but perhaps this is the best thing all round. They don't want to rush at a new Hellraiser film with anyone in tow, they want to make sure that they have the right film for the franchise, rather than rushing one out.

The film version, be it remake, reboot, restart, re-imagining, or whatever, has been through a number of talented and interesting horror writers and directors, and still no film has come close to being made.

There's been Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, Pascal Laugier and the latest round with Christian E. Christiansen in talks to make the film.

However none of these have hit it off with Dimension, and they've kept going with trying to get the right script, or so it would seem. For Hellraiser fans it could well be that the right script and director has already been passed by, I certainly think that Laugier was the closest we've seen so far, after all he made Martyrs which had a close feel to some of the themes in Hellraiser.

Equally though they might not have missed the best option, and it could be that they are trying to kick start the cinematic franchise in the best possible way, and let's bear in mind how difficult a franchise it will be to kick start.

The reason for that is Hellraiser is a classic, and after a few films that dwindled one after the other, it eventually went to four cinematic releases, it turned to DVD with another four films and, presumably, dwindled even more. I was even surprised that it hit four films on DVD releases.

It has to be a lot harder to recover a franchise that has turned to DVD for so long and the expectations of the audience are so high with the original film and the flagging sequels, after all the film could so easily be consigned to the same fate as all the sequels, a poor, forgettable release and possibly even direct to DVD.

The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision have an "insider" at Dimension saying that they really are being careful and trying to get it right this time with an executive saying of the project:

"It's a 'they know it when they see it' kind of thing...It's a small needle to hit, no pun intended."

However they have a limited amount of time as they only have the rights to the franchise until the end of the year, so if they still want a crack at making that big theatrical comeback for the franchise then they have to start making something now, and that will come in the form of another direct to DVD release.

Hellraiser: Revelations is not intended to be the new release in the franchise, but more something to hold onto the rights in order to get the theatrical release made. So they've avoided all the previous writers and directors and gone for Victor García, a protégée of Guillermo del Toro who directed Return to House on Haunted Hill and Mirrors 2, who will direct the script from Gary Tunnicliffe who is an effects designer, writer, actor and director and has been the second unit director on various horror film sequels including Hellraiser: Deader and Hellraiser: Hellworld.

It seems odd that they wouldn't go for one of the bigger scripts and talents that they've been looking at for the rebirth of the Hellraiser franchise, after all they've got to be decent scripts and there's definitely strong directors, couldn't they have started to step back up to the restart of the franchise with a much more improved DVD release, and held onto the rights?



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