He'll Tear Your Soul Apart: Clive Barker Regains Original Hellraiser Rights

After years of legal turmoil, Hellraiser creator Clive Barker has at long last regained the rights to his creative property. Initially written as a short novella, The Hellbound Heart, his story of the cenobites was eventually turned into the filmed Hellraiser which spawned Hellraiser II: Hellbound and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. Over time the franchise turned out multiple other sequels that worsened with each subsequent release. Through the decades, the brand has spawned many different media spin-offs including comic books, novels and short stories but none ever came as close as the original source material. Barker directed the first film but was only a creative consultant on the second. The continuing movie sequels were products of poor writing and tiny budgets that put a damper on the massive ideas of Barker's creation. 

Now, some years later, Barker has used the same legal tactics at Friday the 13th writer Victor Miller and has ultimately regained all control over his original Hellraiser works and any upcoming film rights centered on his first book. After 35 years from the publication of a written work an author can petition for the rights to revert ownership back to the original writer. And Barker has taken advantage of that legal loophole to finally retain his intellectual property. There is still development happening on an HBO series which most likely won't be effected since Barker won't legally have the rights back until December 21st, 2021. Also he's working directly with HBO on the show, so we imagine they're in good company. 

The only problem is that this only applies to rights in the U.S. which means Barker still may not fully be able to control what happens with Pinhead or related materials in other countries. Also, he will not be given any control over what happens with any of the released sequels or subsequent projects. This only hands him back rights to his original writings.