The announcement that a new Hellboy movie was being made without the involvement of Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman was greeted with no small amount of dismay by fans. After all, del Toro’s widely considered to have nailed the tone of the comics with Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but sadly, their underwhelming box office numbers made studios wary of committing to a third installment to round out the trilogy. In addition, Ron Perlman’s performance was absolutely perfect for the character and it was difficult to imagine anyone else in the role.
But we won’t have to worry about imagining for too long, because we’ll soon see Stranger Things star David Harbour in the part. Perlman’s been vocal about his attachment to the character and had previously said that the recasting was something of an “open wound” for him. But now, in an interview with Ain’t It Cool, he sounds like he’s come to terms with the project.
“Well I’m pretty much at peace with what we were able to accomplish with two films and I’m also very much at peace with we put up as noble a fight as we could to complete the trilogy. But it wasn’t to be. I have completely moved on and what happens in the future in regard to that title is really none of my business.”
While Perlman might have moved on, I’m still curious about what the new movie will be like. One indication has come from Neil Marshall’s comments that the film isn’t going to hold back. In a recent interview with Empire, he promised that the R-rating has freed him to approach the material how he sees fit.
“It was always a case of, ‘When in doubt, go back to the source material.’ Some of the stuff is pretty sick. More violent and more bloody. We weren’t making it with handcuffs on.”
All the photos we’ve seen so far of Harbour in the role look pretty impressive, with the design appearing a little fiercer and more demonic that in the del Toro movies. That said, early reactions from test screenings have been slightly worrisome, but we’ll have to wait to pass judgement until we get to see Hellboy for ourselves.