Hellraiser to help resurrect Sonar from the dead

Sonar Entertainment has brought on Executive producer Larry Kupin to develop Hellraiser for television.

Yes, that Hellraiser, and Kupin is obviously the one for the job. He’s the man behind New World Productions, which produced the original Hellraiser film, and Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Kupin is getting help from Eric Gardner of Panecea Entertainment

The Hellraiser story revolves around the villain, simply called ‘Pinhead’ due to the pins protruding from his head. His nature was essentially that of the old devils found in Puritan literature. He was not necessarily evil himself, but used his power to punish and capture the souls of the wicked.

This synopsis is thus:

One of the most successful (and terrifying) franchises in film history is ready for its weekly television debut. For over 25 years, fans have followed the exploits of an insidious villain named Pinhead, summoned from a nightmarish underworld by an ancient puzzle box. He will seduce you with power and tempt you with fear, until your soul belongs to him. Now, for the first time, a weekly series set in the fantastic realm of Hellraiser will thrill audiences worldwide.

This is only one of many initiatives that Sonar is kicking off in the coming months to increase its relevance under new CEO, Stewart Till. They are also developing a number of new shows based on old properties, like AllanQuatermain and King Tut. The focus is on using well-known characters in high-budget serialized television shows, with short, pre-defined runs of only about a dozen or so episodes. This is actually very much like the way the BBC handles genre television, which makes sense considering the new CEO’s background in UK television.

“I’ve spent more time in film than in television, and I see that a lot of values of film, which are great writers, great directors, are becoming more and more relevant in television,” Till recently said about the company’s new direction. “The gap between an O.K. show and a great show is getting bigger and bigger and our obsession going forward will be to find high quality shows that people really want. If you look at our slate, you’ll see shows that have either a great brand name like King Tut or Hellraiser that arrive with a recognition, a build-in marketing platform and/or a great writer like ‘MPH’ with Steven E. de Souza.”

Originally the film and television entertainment arm of the Hallmark greeting card company – doing feel-good made-for-TV movies for Lifetime and such – a new CEO isn’t the only recent change for Sonar. The name is also new, as they were called RHI Entertainment until a few weeks ago, and had few plans and little direction.

Hellraiser the Series is still in early development, and no networks are currently attached to the project.