David Harbour Explains Why Hellboy Reboot Needs An R-Rating


It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Hellboy fans lately. Several months ago, Guillermo del Toro got our hopes up by saying that a third instalment in his series was looking likely. That didn’t last too long, however, as a month later the director announced that despite his best efforts, it just wasn’t going to happen. Thankfully, then, some bittersweet news arrived in May when we learned that the character would be coming back to the big screen, just in a different form.

As you no doubt know by now, Hellboy is being rebooted under the title Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, with director Neil Marshall at the helm and David Harbour playing the titular hero. It was an announcement that came out of left field and while it wasn’t the same as getting a third outing from del Toro, fans were just happy that Red was going to see the inside of a theatre again. Plus, the R-rating and darker and more gruesome take on the character which we’ve been promised is definitely exciting and has us looking forward to seeing how this reboot turns out.

Speaking of which, last week at Comic-Con, Harbour was asked about this aspect of the film and questioned on why they’re going for the R. Surprisingly, it’s not because of the gore and blood. Rather, it’s the themes of the reboot that warrant an R-rating.

“It goes R not for reasons of nudity. It goes R for a bit of gore and horror, but also a bit of just the mature aspect of it, the mature themes of it. Just that we’re dealing with complicated subjects. It’s a real character piece. Of course, it has huge action elements to it, but we’ve modeled it somewhat on Shakespeare. I mean, it’s a bit like Hamlet. It really is this study of this man going through this horrible conundrum and we really get to go in deep with him.”

Sounds intriguing, right? Pitched as a darker and more gruesome take on the unruly hellspawn, Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen will likely be summoned in front of the cameras come September ahead of a theatrical release in 2018. Promo artwork for Marshall’s long-rumored revival reared its gnarly head at Cannes Film Festival not too long ago, which tells us that the reboot is further along than initially thought. As always, watch this space for more!