The announcement of the Hellboy reboot must have been a bitter pill for Ron Perlman to swallow. He’s never missed an opportunity to say how much he loved playing the character and from all accounts, is a genuine fan of Mike Mignola’s comics.
Ever since the release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, both he and director Guillermo del Toro have been campaigning for the chance to make the third and final entry in their story, which would have finally gotten to grips with the impending apocalypse and Big Red’s involvement in it. With this reboot, however, those plans have gone from ‘probably not going to happen’ to just ‘not going to happen.’
Rubbing further salt into the wounds is the general consensus that Perlman was perfect in the part, with his gravellier than gravel voice and ability to emote through pounds of crimson latex defining who Hellboy was in the public eye. So, naturally, once pictures of new Hellboy David Harbour in make-up and costume were revealed, we wondered what Perlman was making of all this.
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Well, in a Reddit AMA about his new Crackle series StartUp, he was asked that very question – and his response was terse: “I’ve made my peace with it. I refuse to answer any questions about it.” To my ears, he doesn’t sound very at peace. In fact, he sounds more hurt and angry that they’d take away what might be his most beloved role without consulting him.
While I am looking forward to seeing what the new Hellboy can bring to the table, I was a big fan of del Toro and Perlman’s work and think they did a tremendous job with their two efforts. Those films were brimming over with imagination and eye-bogglingly great monster and production design. Admittedly, they stumbled a bit in the narrative department, but they really deserved to make more money than they did. Let’s hope director Neil Marshall, who’s in charge of the reboot, has been taking notes.