Actor Doug Bradley debuted as the lead Cenobite in the original Hellraiser, going on to reprise his role seven more times in subsequent sequels, but director of the upcoming Hulu reboot David Bruckner confirmed that Bradley turned down a cameo in the film that was offered to him. It's currently unclear if Bradley was offered the chance to appear as a demonic figure in the new adaptation of Clive Barker's The Hellbound Heart or if he would have appeared as a more humanlike character, though it seems like Bradley is happy to allow an entirely new generation to put their own spin on that universe. The new Hellraiser lands on Hulu on October 7th.
"We reached out to Doug, we wanted to have him cameo in some way in the movie but, in the middle of a pandemic, I don't know, he also respectfully wanted to leave his legacy with the character and you can't argue with that," Bruckner confirmed to Jake's Takes.
Other than being the lead figure of the demonic Cenobites in the original movie, Bradley's villain lovingly earned the nickname "Pinhead" among fans due to his entire skull being covered in nails. In Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Bradley first appeared without his monstrous makeup, as that film showcased how the human figure was turned into the Cenobite. Bradley's last appearance as the figure was in 2005's Hellraiser: Hellworld, a project whose origins weren't in the mythology of the franchise and was then adapted to incorporate those elements. The sequels Hellraiser: Revelations and Hellraiser: Judgment featured new actors taking on the Pinhead role.
While the upcoming Hellraiser is surely being referred to as a reboot among certain fans, it is technically a new adaptation of Barker's original story. The first film inspired by the story back in 1987 was directed by Barker himself, and while the source material describes the lead Cenobite as being genderless, the filmmaker opted to cast Bradley in the role. However, various details in The Hellbound Heart hint at the character having more feminine features, which inspired Bruckner to more faithfully honor that material by casting actress Jamie Clayton in the role.
In the years since leaving Pinhead behind onscreen, Bradley has sported the intensive makeup for various in-person photo opportunities.
The new Hellraiser lands on Hulu on October 7th.
Do you wish Bradley had a cameo in the film? Let us know in the comments or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!