Earlier this week, Hellboy fans were taken by surprise when it was announced that The Descent director Neil Marshall would be getting behind the camera for a reboot of the property, with Stranger Things star David Harbour taking on the titular role. We say it was a surprise because after Guillermo del Toro officially put those Hellboy 3 rumors to bed, we assumed that the character was done with the silver screen. As it turns out, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth and we will indeed be seeing him again.
In light of all the excitement surrounding the new project, which has been tentatively titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen and is apparently set to be darker and more gruesome than the previous films, we’ve learnt of something quite interesting. Due to the fact that this new reboot has been given to go ahead, we won’t be seeing the planned Abe Sapien spinoff.
What’s that you say? You never head of such a thing? Yeah, we hadn’t either, until Hellboy writer Peter Briggs took to Facebook earlier this week to clear the air on a few things. It was a pretty lengthy post from the scribe, but one of the most interesting tidbits to come out of it was his reveal that the studio had asked him to write an Abe spinoff back in 2010. Apparently, the idea was to focus on the fan-favorite character while having Hellboy show up in a small, but important role.
Here’s how Briggs described what he had planned for the project:
The story had a sort of Highlander structure to it. Moving into their new Bureau For Paranormal Research And Defense headquarters in Colorado, Abe is troubled still by his psychic connection with Princess Nuala from Hellboy 2, so [he] researches the history of Nuala and Nuada. We would have seen Nuada’s connection to a rival fairy courtier who seeks control of the fairy kingdom (and Nuala’s hand in marriage), and engineers the machinations that cause Prince Nuada’s expulsion.
We’d have seen Nuada in different timezones down the centuries, including his first meeting with Mister Wink in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition (Nuada saves Wink from a troupe of soldiers); and Nuada in Nazi Germany in World War 2 engineering a pact to keep various supernatural entities unharmed from the conflict. (We would have seen Nuada and Kroenen fighting in a “friendly” bout for a bunch of Project Ragnarok goons.)
Doug Jones would have been playing twin characters of both Abe and a reprise of the Angel Of Death, with whom Prince Nuada strikes a bargain. Agent Myers from the first “Hellboy” film would have returned. The story reached a rousing action climax at the B.P.R.D. Colorado headquarters and used Rasputin’s summoning gauntlet from the first movie (and we did manage to sneak Hellboy in for a cameo in one scene!) If it had been successful, it would have been the first in a series of “From The Files Of The B.P.R.D.” projects.
Sounds pretty interesting, but according to the writer, the film will never see the light of day now that the reboot is moving forward, and that’s definitely a shame. Make no mistake about it, this new take on the character is definitely being positioned as a franchise starter, one that will surely spawn an entire cinematic universe should it do well at the box office – and that’s very exciting. But you can’t deny that it would have been a lot of fun to see a spinoff of the original film with the great Abe Sapien at the centre of it.
It appears that it just wasn’t meant to be though, and for now, fans will have to settle for this upcoming reboot from Neil Marshall. It may not be exactly what they wanted, but having the character back on the big screen can only be a good thing and we’re certainly curious to see how the director brings him to life in the new film.
Tell us, what are your thoughts on everything that’s going on with Hellboy? Are you pleased to hear that he’s being rebooted? Sound off in the usual place and let us know.