As previously reported, upcoming Hellraiser sequel Judgment sees Paul T. Taylor take on the role of Pinhead, made iconic by Doug Bradley, with SFX guru Gary Tunnicliffe is on directing duties.
Last month, Bradley took to his Facebook page to dispel rumours that he would be involved in the flick, citing a super-strict NDA agreement on the drafted script as his main reason for turning it down. Bradley ended his post with a tl;dr version of events:
Anyway, story short: a new movie is happening and I have nothing do with it. I was unable to make a decision about it because I was not allowed to read the script, unlike Revelations where I made a conscious decision not to do the movie based on the motives for making it and the poor quality of the script. And that’s everything
It would now appear that that is not everything, as at HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati, Bradley sat down with iHorror to go into a bit more detail about his feelings on the upcoming film, the non-disclosure agreement and where he feels the franchise is headed.
On why he thought the NDA (allegedly a three-page document, forbidding him from discussing anything to do with the script in public) was a bit much:
I’ve been part of the Hellraiser franchise thirty years… I’ve been in possession of, to my certain knowledge, ten Hellraiser scripts… I’ve been an important part of the franchise and an important part of the reason why there’s a Hellraiser 10 being made at all. So I didn’t understand why I had suddenly become a security risk.
On the nitty-gritty of the proposed agreement itself, Bradley pulled no punches:
My first response was that it was a wind-up, that it was Gary [Tunnicliffe, the writer-director of Hellraiser: Judgment] playing a practical joke on me. This thing was three pages long in full legalese apparently written by high school kids pretending to be lawyers. …it was telling me that I could not talk about this movie or the screenplay in restrooms, in restaurants, in elevators, or in cellular telephone conversations which may be overheard. It also made me liable for a million dollars if I was deemed to have in any way harmed the investment of the producers in the project.
He cited Tunnicliffe’s own script for previous installment Revelations, which he turned down:
I read Gary’s script for Revelations and I didn’t think it was good, so I turned it down. I never said a word about it, never said a word about Revelations, disclosed nothing… So I was a bit taken aback by the idea of this nondisclosure agreement on principal, I suppose.
Bradley has been vocal about his feelings on the “political reasons” why Revelations was, allegedly, being rushed into production (Dimension were at risk of losing the rights to the Hellraiser franchise at the time).
He now believes the same is happening again with Hellraiser: Judgment:
It is clear that, once again, the reason for this film being made is exactly the same as Revelations. At the same time that Revelations was made, they made another Children of the Corn movie, which made sense because they bought into both franchises at exactly the same time, on the back of Hellraiser 3, which we shot back-to-back with Children of the Corn 3. And what are they shooting right now? Another Children of the Corn movie. That tells you everything you need to know.
On whether Judgment is a Hellraiser film through-and-through, as Tunnicliffe was quick to point out in previous interviews, Bradley remains unconvinced:
Gary has… [said] this is one hundred percent an original screenplay. Now he’s saying that he wrote it as a Hellraiser film some years ago. I’m trying to fill in the blanks, but maybe that would be after Revelations, and nobody wanted to make it. Then it resurfaced in, I think 2013, as his Kickstarter movie called Judgment, which he told us was ‘a horror movie like no other’. I saw the teaser trailer, and it had this guy with a very deep voice with scars across his head, diagonally it has to be said, but scars and a deep voice playing a toy music box which sort of reminded me of another horror movie we’re all very familiar with. But Gary said it was a horror movie like no other, so I must be mistaken.
On being recast, supposedly, immediately after refusing to sign the NDA:
Gary… said they started recasting the next day. Nobody picked up the phone, neither Gary nor anyone at Dimension or any of the line producers at the production company, which I would certainly have been doing… It was just ‘OK,’ and recast, which tells me that they didn’t really want me in the first place, or not all that much… But then, I was threatened with re-cast on, I think, every movie from the third movie forward.
On whether Dimension are now just putting out films to maintain the rights to Hellraiser:
Inferno, Hellseeker and Deader …were all preexisting movies that were tweaked to become Hellraiser movies. That’s lazy. It doesn’t speak to me of great respect for the franchise.
And finally, on whether he’ll ever play Pinhead again:
Never say never. On the back of Revelations they’ve then had, what, five or six years to think about a new movie? And here I’m getting a phone call about it a month away from the start of shooting [Bradley was approached for Judgment around Christmastime, with February slated for shooting to begin]. So this time I didn’t even get a chance to turn it down, which is weird. I’m not losing sleep over not playing Pinhead – it’s more than thirteen years now since I played him last, but I’m not closing the door on anything, either.