Guillermo del Toro brought Hellboy to the big screen twice. Many people, myself included, thought his take on it would at least be a trilogy. Ron Perlman and co. were ready to do another. Well, there is another Hellboy movie coming down the pike, but it is a clean break from the del Toro ones. Instead, a “hard-R” reboot is coming. That was ultimately due to del Toro moving on.
Collider talked to Lloyd Levin, who said after del Toro moved on, a reboot was there only option.
“For years, the second one came out in , and during that time the idea of a third would’ve been very very exciting. It was up to Guillermo and he ultimately decided that this was behind him. He was onto other things. So we were able to get a hold of the rights. A third without Guillermo was unthinkable and without Ron was unthinkable so you have over 20 years worth of stories and dozens of characters and it just felt like there was so much more of the Hellboy, Mignola-verse to explore. So we talked about it and faced with no opportunity to do a third, the only opportunity was to reboot.”
A third film in the same continuity without del Toro or Perlman’s involvement wouldn’t be received very kindly. That film would have had an uphill climb from the very beginning. So Levin is right, a reboot is the only way to go for more Hellboy.
There is a lot to mine from the source material, so the reboot can tap into things that del Toro didn’t. The R-rating helps that a lot too. They don’t have to hold anything back. The success of Logan and Deadpool proves that an R-rating can work for a comic book property, when done correctly. The previous success of the Blade franchise – one of which del Toro was involved with, further proves it as well.
The takeaway from this is that you shouldn’t be down on this just because it’s not del Toro’s Hellboy 3. You can be a fan of that, and enjoy this too. Both will have their merits.
Hellboy hits theaters April 12.