You’ve likely heard that Frenchie Pascal Laugier, whose controversial horror movie ”Martyrs” received his country’s rare 18+ rating for being so frickin’ gory and disturbing, is set to helm the “Hellraiser” remake. Yeah, I wish him luck too – - but can’t seem to get too excited, if excited at all, about this, yet another money-grabbing rape-the-fans remake. Still Laugier seems to think his version is going to deliver (let’s talk to him after the studio takes the scissors to his cut and releases a dumbed-down version in theaters) and seems prepared for some kind of knuckle-clash with Harvey and Bob Weinstein down the track.
The level-headed filmmaker tells Aint it Cool News that he has been a fan of the series since he was a tyke. ”I saw the first when I was 13, I remember precisely the shock it had on me because it was so new, so fresh, so it’s very hard to resist the temptation to do HELLRAISER, you know? So of course. When you come from my culture it’s like amazing you’re even proposed to do HELLRAISER. So of course I felt about it a lot. Right now I have no reasons to refuse the opportunity because IF I disagree with the producer I would leave the project. You know, I’m not forced to do ANYTHING I don’t want. So, let me write the first draft, let me tell you what all the American producers have reacted to the reading of the first draft and I will tell you if I’m in good hands or if I’m gonna leave a hellish experience but in ANY CASE, I won’t betray Clive Barker’s work. I want to do a fresh film filled with a lot of unexpected and surprising things. At the same time, I want it to be connected to the real, original material.”
(By source material, Laughier’s reffering to the original novella, “The Hellbound Heart”)
”We’ll get the chance to have much more money than even Clive had in the first film, so it will be of course more epic, it will be bigger, and I hope that it won’t be softer. And right now I trust the guys in Dimension [Films] You know? It’s all a matter of human relationship. I talk a lot with Bob Weinstein, he cares about the projects, he’s a movie buff, he knows a lot about cinema. But at the same time he’s Bob Weinstein and he’s a very realistic money maker. So it will be a battle, and I hope that a balance will be found so the film will be close to my vision. What can I say? I’m not sure. I can’t sign with my blood that I’m gonna achieve…”
Laughier proves just how much a fan of the series he is by indicating he’s actually seen the last few sequels, too.
”And we all know that the franchise has been killed by really, really cheap and bad direct-to-DVD sequels – I’m talking about HELLRAISER 4, 5, 6 – that we all hate. And we all know that the franchise deserve something more ambitious, you know, and more serious so for me it’s a huge chance to be allowed to handle it.”