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, had things gone according to the original plan, this new Hellboy film may not have even been a reboot at all. While speaking with Nerdist in a recent interview, creator Mike Mignola noted that at first, they tried to get del Toro back on board, but the director “didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”
“I would’ve loved to see Guillermo do his third movie and finish that story. But over the years it became very clear that wasn’t going to happen. About three years ago the producers, the screenwriter Andrew Cosby, and I all started working on this new story. Del Toro didn’t want to have anything to do with it, he wasn’t going to direct. He was offered to be a producer, and Ron [Perlman] wouldn’t do it without Guillermo.”
What’s perhaps even more interesting is that the project started as a continuation of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Though as Mignola says, once they had Marshall involved, it made more sense to just start fresh and try something new – which we kind of agree with.
“So we originally started trying to tie it to the del Toro universe and continue those movies. But once we had Neil Marshall, we thought, ‘Why are we going to try and continue that universe?’ Because a del Toro movie is a del Toro movie, and you don’t want to try and hand a del Toro movie to someone else. Especially someone as great as Neil Marshall. So that’s when it went from being this continuation to being a reboot. It’s exciting to have another director. It’s exciting to take another path, to take that material and give it another leaning.”
While what Mignola says here is sound, it’s still a shame that del Toro is no longer involved in the franchise and in an ideal world, we would be getting a Hellboy III from the director with Ron Perlman back in the role. That being said, a reboot from Marshall is definitely exciting and we look forward to seeing what he can do with the property.
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!