After being absent from cinemas for nearly a decade, it’s thrilling to hear that Hellboy will be making his triumphant return before long, albeit in the form of a reboot. Not only that, but we recently received confirmation that none other than Milla Jovovich has been cast as the main villain, joining David Harbour, the actor who has been recast in the title role.
But as cool as the first two films starring Ron Perlman were, diehard fans of the comic books voiced some complaints, hoping that future offerings would be more in line with the source material. Admittedly, the first flick to debut in 2004 was probably closer to Mike Mignola’s work, but it’s important to remember that it arrived slightly before what we’ve come to call “the Golden Age of Superhero Movies” actually kicked off, with Hollywood having been known to have taken generous creative liberties at that time. As for 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, that’s more of what I and many others would call a “Guillermo Del Toro movie,” if you know what I mean.
When recently speaking with Newsarama, Mignola went on to discuss how much he’s been involved in the creative process of the reboot and how he thinks it reflects his comics:
“I was super involved [with] Guillermo del Toro’s movies way more than this one. In those I worked in pre-production and I was on set a lot of the time. As time went on, he and I had different idea on what should happen. And this new movie, I don’t have much hands-on involvement. I’m not doing any concept art. I am doing consulting, but I think from day one in discussions about the look and feel of this new movie, the director seems to be very much closer to the tone of the vision I wanted it to be.”
Having read that, we can at least take solace in knowing that new director Neil Marshall really seems to see eye to eye with Mignola, even if the comic book legend isn’t as closely tied to production this time around. Furthermore, he states that this offering is “much darker – close to a horror film,” which aligns with early reports.
And should Marshall and company find the right formula, maybe we’ll get that Hellboy Cinematic Universe that Mignola’s hoping to see. After all, with expected involvement from the B.P.R.D. having been confirmed, it’s somewhat possible that Abe Sapien and others could be granted spinoffs of their own.