A fresh take on the Hellraiser franchise is set to arrive next month, and its new version of the series' iconic antagonist has finally been revealed. Hellraiser, a reboot based on both the original film series and its source material, Clive Barker's 1986 horror novella The Hellbound Heart, is due for release on October 7 via Hulu, and its version of Pinhead - the beloved horror icon made famous by English actor Doug Bradley - will be played by American actress Jamie Clayton (Sense8).
Finally, the first image of the new Pinhead has been revealed by production company Spyglass, and it looks like Clayton's take on the character is going to be a terrifying one.
"We felt a kind of anticipation around the fans to reimagine the character," Director David Bruckner tells Entertainment Weekly. "We knew we wanted Pinhead to be a woman. Jamie was just the right person for the role. A person's identity can be really exciting for a role in many ways [Clayton is a trans woman], but I have to emphasize that Jamie absolutely killed, that's how we got there."
In The Hellbound Heart, Pinhead - unnamed in the novel - is described as an androgynous being with a high-pitched, feminine voice - something which was in stark contrast to Doug Bradley's booming, deep-voiced take on the character.
"What Doug Bradley did with the character is so iconic," the director adds. "We didn't want to do a Doug Bradley impression, we just didn't think that's possible to do. There will be suffering, but you're going to get a sense of what Pinhead's desires might be in a way that hits a little different."
Bruckner also tells Entertainment Weekly that the film's plot will focus on a young addict who ends up being exposed to the famed Lament Configuration puzzlebox that summons the Cenobites. He also reveals that as well as a new Pinhead, we'll be seeing some brand new Cenobites that have never been on screen before.
The original Hellraiser film was released in 1987, spawning nine sequels, all but two starring Doug Bradley as Pinhead. The most recent sequel, Hellraiser: Revalations, was released in 2018.