Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has been tirelessly been trying to get the third Hellboy film (titled Hellboy III: Dark Worlds) off the ground, much to the enthusiasm of fans. However, no studio seemed interested in financing it, despite generally favorable reviews and outgrossing the first film by $53 million. Del Toro held a fan poll a few months ago where he asked if they still wanted a third film. The response was a resounding yes, so he sat down with comic creator Mike Mignola and actor Ron Perlman in an attempt to hash out how to make the project happen. Unfortunately, the project was officially declared dead soon after for good.
Yesterday, Mignola took to Facebook to announce that Hellboy is receiving an R-rated reboot, seemingly inspired by recent mature comic book films like Deadpool, Logan and the Kingsman series. He also revealed that neither Del Toro and Perlman would be involved, with director Neil Marshall and actor David Harbour stepping in for them. THR supplemented this initial report with the additional news including the working title, which is Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, which was written by Andrew Cosby (Eureka), Christopher Golden and Mignola. Millennium Films (The Expendables series, Undisputed III: Redemption) is currently negotiating for the rights to produce the reboot.
Cosby recently spoke to Silver Screen Beat, where he described briefly how the reboot would differ from Del Toro’s films:
“I can’t really talk about specifics with regard to the story, which they’re keeping a pretty tight lid on at the moment, but I can say that this is a darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy. Neil said from the very beginning that he wanted to walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie, which was music to my ears, because that’s what I was shooting for in the script, and precisely what Mignola does so well with the comics.”
Marshall has several graphic genre films to his credit such as Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday and Centurion and has recently leant his talents to similarly themed TV shows like Game of Thrones, Constantine and Hannibal, so he’s pretty much perfect for this. Harbour is known for his work in Quantum of Solace, The Equalizer and Suicide Squad as well as his fan-favorite turn in Netflix’s Stranger Things. He was also in the running to play Cable in Deadpool 2 before the role went to Josh Brolin, so it only makes sense that another studio would take advantage of his charisma, humor and geek cred. Stepping into this role will be more than a little difficult for him, as fans had grown extremely attached to Perlman’s portrayal of the character. But I feel, if they had to go in another direction, this is probably the best thing they could’ve gone.
Check back for more news about Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen as it becomes available.