There were lots of conflicting feelings going around when it was announced earlier in the year that we were getting a new Hellboy movie. On the one hand, it had to be a good thing that Big Red was returning to the silver screen for the first time in a decade. On the other, it was to be a reboot of the franchise, and not the long-fabled closer to the should-have-been trilogy starring Ron Perlman.
With the Sons of Anarchy actor as his lead, director Guillermo del Toro helmed both 2004’s Hellboy and 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but his plans to make a third outing were consistently curtailed thanks to problems with funding. In the end, Lionsgate decided to pursue the project without him and now, 2018’s Hellboy will instead be directed by Neil Marshall with Stranger Things‘ David Harbour in the title role.
In some ways, it must be absolutely crushing for del Toro to have his dream project taken out of his hands like this. Still, while chatting with Screen Geek, the director made clear that he has a lot of respect and encouragement for the new movie. When asked what he thought of Harbour donning the Right Hand of Doom, del Toro said:
“I mean I like him. I don’t know him and I’m not involved with the movie. But I sure wish them luck, man. He’s a great guy.”
The director’s remarks follow on from Ron Perlman’s own thoughts on the matter. In a very brief comment, the actor claimed that he’d “made peace” with the reboot but that he “refuse[s] to answer any questions about it.” In other words, he’s still a little sore over the whole thing.
Thankfully, what we’ve seen so far promises that the new Hellboy will be a worthy follow-up to the Perman-del Toro movies. The first images of David Harbour in character were so good that they’ve assuaged many fans who were against the reboot in the first place. Hopefully, then, even the director and star of the old films will be able to get something from the new effort when it arrives in 2018.