Hellboy fans were crushed when they learned they’d never get the planned third installment in the original series of films based off the Dark Horse comic character. Instead, 2019 brought us a reboot, starring David Harbour in place of Ron Perlman. Though it does have a cult following, reviews of Neil Marshall’s movie were savage and it’s generally considered not to be a patch on Guillermo del Toro’s earlier duology.
While it sounds like a del Toro Hellboy 3 wasn’t ultimately on the cards, it’s fascinating to discover that Perlman could’ve returned for a third go-around under another director. While speaking to ComicBookMovie.com, the star dropped the bombshell that he was offered the chance to reprise Big Red once again in what became the reboot, but he just wasn’t interested without del Toro involved so he declined.
“The reboot was something I had the opportunity to participate in and decided that the only version of Hellboy I’m interested in is the one I do with Guillermo and so in walking away from it, I truly walked away from it, and haven’t seen it or heard much about it,” Perlman said. “I wished them well, but it was not in my bailiwick.”
As for why del Toro couldn’t do it, Perlman says it was a case of the Oscar-winning filmmaker being so busy with a number of projects. And without him helming the ship, the reboot was a completely different ballgame.
“The only thing that’s stopping the third Hellboy film is the fact that Guillermo [del Toro] is one of the busiest guys in the business,” the actor added. “He couldn’t do it with all the stuff he’s got lined up even if wanted to. The two films had nothing to do with one another.”
Given how the reboot flopped, you might think there’s a chance Hellboy 3, with del Toro and Perlman, could happen in a few years’ time, similar to how other franchises have gone back and forth with continuity (Halloween, for example). However, it doesn’t really sound like that’s a possibility. Perlman has previously said that he’s put the character behind him and has made peace with not playing him again. In some other timeline, though, we could’ve got a third outing with the actor as Hellboy.