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.
With production set to kick off next month, the project is busy putting together its cast, and after learning that Ian McShane had climbed aboard in the part of Hellboy’s adoptive father, Deadline now brings word that Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich will play the film’s villain, the titular Blood Queen. No further details about her role were disclosed, but given that her aforementioned franchise is now at its end – at least, the current version is (a reboot is being planned) – it’s nice to see her hop on board another horror/action oriented series.
Story-wise, we know that Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen will see Harbour’s reluctant hero “squaring off against a medieval sorceress who seeks to destroy humankind.” Lionsgate appears to be playing it relatively safe in the narrative department, as we don’t know much more than that at the moment, but there have been rumblings that Rise of the Blood Queen could herald the beginning of an entire cinematic universe, so the studio will be hoping that its reboot hits big in 2018.
How it’ll stack up against del Toro’s series remains to be seen, of course, but Marshall’s a talented filmmaker and he’s put together a pretty exciting cast here. With an R-rating and a darker take on the material, we’ve no doubt that the reboot will, at the very least, go down well with fans.
Filming on Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is due to commence in September – the UK and Bulgaria have been listed as two primary locations – ahead of a theatrical release in 2018. As always, watch this space for more.