Doug Bradley Wants To Play Pinhead Again In An Adaptation Of THE SCARLET GOSPELS

Clive Barker's 2015 novel reveals the ultimate fate of the Hell Priest.

By Scott Wampler · @ScottWamplerRIP · February 23, 2024, 1:27 PM EST

Here's a fun story to wrap up the week with: in a new interview with Bloody Disgusting, horror icon Doug Bradley makes clear that he'd be down to play Pinhead (aka the Hell Priest) in an adaptation of Clive Barker's The Scarlet Gospels, the 2015 novel that reveals the character's ultimate fate.

David Bruckner's recent Hellraiser reboot featured Jamie Clayton in the role (in a performance Bradley enjoyed), but that doesn't necessarily mean the original Pinhead has hung up his chains:

“I certainly never say never. I’ve never said I was done with it. I’ve never said I’m retired from it. I’m sensible about these things, too. I was in my mid-30s when I first played the character, and I was just turning 50 when I played him the last time. I ain’t in that age range anymore. I’m now in my 70th year, and to some extent I think special effects makeup is a younger man’s game.”

He goes on to add that an adaptation of The Scarlet Gospels, one which would allow him to appear closer to his age onscreen (and, presumably, with fewer prosthetics), would be hard to turn down:

“If we did that, we could maybe present an older Pinhead to be aware of the fact that I am the age I am, that time and gravity does what time and gravity does. An older, darker Pinhead would intrigue me, one not so much in love with the flippant one-liners and the witty comebacks and so forth.”

It's an intriguing proposition! The Scarlet Gospels finds another notable Barker character, Harry D'Amour (played by Scott Bakula in 1995's Lord of Illusions) traveling into Hell and tangling with Pinhead as he attempts to take over the underworld from Lucifer. The novel includes Pinhead's ultimate fate, and Bradley believes it would be "the perfect bookend to my life in latex, if I can put it that way."

Would The Scarlet Gospels make for a good movie? Well, it'd certainly make for an eyepopping one ... and an expensive one: most of the action unfolds in Hell, and includes any number of demons, insanely gory kills, and grisly tableaux. An adaptation would almost certainly require extensive CGI to bring its nightmarish setting and inhabitants to life.

And here's a question: what's going on with the Hellraiser franchise, anyway? Bruckner's 2022 take on the property proved somewhat divisive, and while the creative team behind the film seemed willing to get to work on a sequel, we've heard nothing on such a thing being in the works in the years since that film arrived on Hulu.

If nothing else, Bradley's dream of playing Pinhead in an adaptation of The Scarlet Gospels is a fun thing to imagine. And who knows? Maybe if Barker fans mobilize around the idea loudly enough, some studio with deep pockets will make it a reality. Stranger things have happened! For now, all we can do is wait to see. Stay tuned for further Hellraiser-updates as they roll in, folks.