"It would be the perfect bookend to my life in latex": Horror legend Doug Bradley wants to play an "older, darker Pinhead" for one last Hellraiser movie

Doug Bradley poses with Pinhead mannequin
(Image credit: Catherine McGann/Getty Images)

When it comes to metal-friendly horror franchises, Hellraiser takes some beating. Never mind its gothic aestheticb, Motorhead and Ozzy lyrical odes and demonic - or should that be angelic? - cenobites, the Clive Barker spawned franchise also boasted the inimitable presence  of horror legend - and sometime Cradle Of Filth collaborator - Doug Bradley, portraying lead cenobite Pinhead. 

Although Bradley has long since vacated the role, last appearing in 2005's Hellraiser: Hellworld, in a new interview with Bloody Disgusting he admits he isn't against sticking on the latex one last time. 

"I certainly never say never," he says. "I’ve never said I was done with it. I’ve never said I’m retired from it.”

Although Bradley ditched the nails and latex almost 20 years ago, others actors have since taken up the role. For 2011's Hellraiser: Revelations Pinhead was portrayed by Stephan Smith Collins, who in turn ceded the role to Paul T. Taylor for 2018's Hellraiser: Judgement

In 2022, the franchise was rebooted by David Brucker, with a Pinhead portrayed by Jamie Clayton. The film's critical and streaming success saw Bruckner express an interest in making a sequel, but as yet no plans have officially been announced.

Bradley had some thoughts on how exactly he would return to the franchise - and what it could all mean. Expressing an interest in adapting Barker's 2015 novel The Scarlet Gospels, he felt he would be able to offer the character a perfect send-off.

“An older, darker Pinhead would intrigue me," he tells Bloody Disgusting. "One not so much in love with the flippant one-liners and the witty comebacks and so forth. That would be the perfect bookend to my life in latex, if I can put it that way.”

While Bradley hasn't played the character for almost 20 years, he certainly hasn't been idle, popping up in a number of other horrors - including the Wrong Turn franchsie - and lending his voice talents to the Star Wars: The Old Republic videogame series as a Sith emperor. He also provided narration on a number of classic Cradle Of Filth songs including Midian, Her Ghost In The Fog, Rise Of The Pentagram and Tonight In Flames, popping up again most recently on 2021's Existence Is Futile.   

In 2018, Hammer teamed Cradle Of Filth frontman Dani Filth and Bradley up for an interview, where he reflected on why Pinhead remains such an iconic character.

"I have a clipping of a Sunday Times interview with Alice Cooper and in the accompanying photo he’s wearing a Pinhead shirt!" Bradley reveals. "You can put him in the same bracket as Freddy, Jason and Leatherface, but Pinhead is kind of exceptional. It is an extraordinary, very difficult, disarming image; it draws the eye.”

Watch the trailer for Doug Bradley's latest - and decidedly Hellraiser inspired - horror movie Thorns below. The movie is expected to see wider release later this year. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.