The closing chapter in Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy trilogy is always going to remain one of the most famous comic book movies that was never made, and the fact that the director and star Ron Perlman never got to finish their story hits that little bit harder when you consider the reboot was nothing short of awful, and wound up being savaged by critics and bombing at the box office.
Hellboy and its sequel were hardly smash hit blockbusters, though, after earning a solid if unspectacular combined total of $268 million against production costs of $150 million, but the pair of lavish fantasies was well received in all corners and managed to do decent business on home video, although obviously not enough to convince the studio to make a third film a reality.
Somehow, it’s been seventeen years already since del Toro’s Hellboy opened in theaters, and creator Mike Mignola has now taken to social media to celebrate the anniversary and pay tribute to the filmmaker for managing to get it made in the first place, which you can check out below.
So, 17 years ago–The first HELLBOY movie.
There are people out there reading the comic that don't remember a time when there was no Hellboy movie. That's crazy.
It was a hell of an adventure.
Thank You to the great @RealGDT for fighting to get this thing made. It was not easy pic.twitter.com/OrXKISM9wA
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) April 2, 2021
It was a labor of love to see Big Red headline his own feature film, with del Toro and Mignola constantly being knocked back by various studios all over town, who didn’t see much potential in the property and weren’t sold on the idea of a journeyman character actor like Perlman being positioned as the lead in a costly effects-heavy blockbuster, with Vin Diesel one of many names suggested instead.
Everyone stuck to their guns in the end, though, and the Hellboy duology retains a loyal and dedicated following to this day, even if the fans have had to make their peace with the trilogy never being brought to a close.