'Hellraiser'
Source: Rivdel Films

Was 'Hellraiser' Villain Pinhead Intended to Be a Woman?

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Oct. 8 2021, Published 3:34 p.m. ET

Renowned horror novelist, playwright, and director Clive Barker released his celebrated film Hellraiser in 1987. After accidentally opening a portal to hell, "sexual deviant" Frank gets ripped apart by a group of hellions, called Cenobites, only to be left in a zombie-like state. Things take a bizarre turn when his brother, Larry, and his sister-in-law, Julia, bring Frank back to life.

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The Books of Blood author's supernatural film spawned a slew of sequels over the years, and with the announcement of Hulu's upcoming Hellraiser reboot, campy horror fans will be delighted to know the franchise has no end in sight. As reported by Deadline, director David Bruckner’s reboot has cast 13 Reasons Why actor Brandon Flynn, ER's Goran Visnjic, Outer Banks' Drew Starkey, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay's Adam Faison, Normal People's Aoife Hinds, Boss Level's Selina Lo, and Succession's Hiam Abbass.

As for who will play the film's infamous lead villain, Pinhead, well, the reboot is keeping things fresh, this time casting a woman to play the terrifying Cenobite. Was Pinhead ever intended to be a woman? Read on to find out who the OG Pinhead, Doug Bradley, is passing the torch to.

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Meet Jamie Clayton, 'Hellraiser's' new Pinhead.

That's right, Spyglass Media Group and Hulu's upcoming reboot will star out transgender actress Jamie Clayton as Pinhead. While some believe it's an odd casting choice, hiring the Sense8 and The L Word: Generation Q star is actually on par with what Clive Barker originally pictured for the character. See, Hellraiser is based on Clive's 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, which never solidified Pinhead's gender, but did describe the villain as feminine in appearance.

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Considering Pinhead's gender was initially unknown (nonbinary icon?), perhaps it was never "accurate" to cast Doug Bradley, a man, as Pinhead in the first place (though his portrayal is, of course, incredible and historic). We have no doubt that Jamie — an LGBTQ advocate who made her television debut in 2010 on VH1's makeover reality show TRANSform Me — will absolutely kill as Pinhead, no pun intended.

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When will the Spyglass-Hulu 'Hellraiser' reboot be released?

Though there's no solid release date as of yet, the creators are aiming for 2022. Clive Barker will be one of the film's producers. "It’s been such an honor to have Clive onboard to help support and shepherd us through the incredible universe he created so long ago. Combined with a fearless and committed cast, including the amazing Jamie Clayton, who fully embodies the role as the Hell Priest, we’re aiming to create a very special new chapter in the Hellraiser legacy," The Night House director David Bruckner stated, according to Deadline.

The legendary Clive Barker himself had warm words about the reboot. “Having seen some of the designs from David Bruckner’s new Hellraiser film, they pay homage to what the first film created, but then take it to places it’s never been before. This is a Hellraiser on a scale that I simply didn’t expect. David and his team are steeped in the story’s mythology, but what excites me is their desire to honor the original even as they revolutionize it for a new generation," he said.

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Doug Bradley and Clive Barker at LA's Hollywood Wax Museum in 1992
Source: Getty Images

Doug Bradley and Clive Barker at LA's Hollywood Wax Museum in 1992

Well, considering the promising reboot boasts Clive's blessing and involvement, we can't wait for Jamie Clayton to tear our souls apart.

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