Final Warning: this post contains Hellraiser: Judgment spoilers.
Of the many, many weird things to have happened already in 2018, the Hellraiser franchise's sudden and highly improbable resurgence in popularity is among the very weirdest. We have Gary J. Tunnicliffe's Hellraiser: Judgment to thank (or blame, depending on where you stand) for this.
Give the world nothing but shitty Hellraiser sequels for over a decade, and people are bound to respond in the positive when a halfway-decent entry like Hellraiser: Judgment comes along (you can read my review here). Sure, at least half the film is squandered on a Seven riff that seems to have pleased absolutely no one, but the other half of the film is filled with interesting new Cenobites, a smidge of new Hellraiser mythology, a reasonably effective Pinhead, and some of the gnarliest gore effects this franchise has seen in years.
Anyway, Tunnicliffe's got ideas for a Hellraiser: Judgment sequel, and I'm pleased to report that his pitch largely hinges upon one of my absolute favorite things about Tunnicliffe's movie: the bureaucracy and inter-office politics governing Pinhead's world. Added bonus: it'll also explain what becomes of Pinhead after he's banished from Hell to (checks notes) Los Angeles.
Says Tunnicliffe (via JoBlo.com):
"I have thought about it afterwards, what I think would be great fun. Maybe a new Cenobite ruler comes in, or takes over, and a new head priest comes in, and it's not working out and clearly this person, this Cenobite's not doing a great job. And underhandedly, the Auditor is leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the guy who is Pinhead to find his way back, and he gets pulled in. And then it's like, he turns up, and it's like a showdown between the newly born Pinhead and this guy who's taken over his mantle. It's like, and we do a bit of a standoff, and it's like battle of the Hell priests."
So you'd have a new boss filling Pinhead's old role, and he - or, more intriguingly, she - would be butting heads with "a new head priest" (to be fair, Tunnicliffe makes it sound like Pinhead's replacement will be half-assing it, so I suppose some conflict's to be expected). Meanwhile, you'd also have the Auditor (played by Tunnicliffe himself in Hellraiser: Judgment) trying to lead Pinhead back to Hell.
All of this sounds great to me, because absolutely none of it has anything to do with a bunch of boring, hungover-looking human beings investigating a crime or cheating on one another or foolishly opening yet another Hellraiser box. The Hell stuff in Hellraiser: Judgment is absolutely its greatest feature, so if Tunnicliffe's talking about focusing only that stuff for a sequel, you can consider me very much onboard.
Anyway, there's no guarantee this is gonna happen, but we'll be keeping our ear to the ground for further updates. Stay tuned.