It’s a bittersweet moment for fans of the Hellboy movies: Star Ron Perlman and director Guillermo del Toro are bidding the series farewell, but Red himself will be back in a big screen reboot. David Harbour (Stranger Things, Black Mass) will have the shorn-off horns glued to his forehead in the new film, entitled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. Director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, Dog Soldiers, several Game of Thrones episodes) is helming the project. At one point, Marshall was rumoured to be attached to a solo Black Widow film for Marvel Studios, which ultimately failed to materialise.
Hellboy by Mike Mignola
Hellboy originates in the pages of the Dark Horse comic series created by artist/writer Mike Mignola. The eponymous character is a demon who is raised Catholic by a kindly professor, and who joins an organisation called the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence (BPRD) to battle various and sundry supernatural entities, alongside fellow misfits like Abe Sapien, Lobster Johnson and the pyrokinetic Liz.
Like recent comic book-based films Deadpool and Logan, Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen will be given an ‘R’ rating in the U.S. Marshall promised “a darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy,” and stated that he intends the film to “walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie.” Marshall declared that his gorier take on Hellboy would be true to the graphic novel source, adding “when you go back the original material, it is kind of bloody, so I’m going to embrace that.”
Guillermo del Toro directing on set
And what does del Toro feel about the reboot? As can be expected from a director who has a reputation for being personable and enthusiastic, he responded graciously. “I don’t own Hellboy, Mike [Mignola] does…he is the father of the character and if he wants to reboot it, it’s perfectly fine,” del Toro said. “I got to make two – that’s two more than I thought I would get to make…as far as I’m concerned god speed and god bless,” he concluded.
One element that differentiates Hellboy from other movie franchises is that each instalment has been produced by a different studio. 2004’s Hellboy was made by Revolution Studios, 2008’s Hellboy: The Golden Army was made by Universal, and now Lionsgate is in talks to be the latest home for the big red dude. Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen doesn’t yet have a release date, but is planned to go into production later this year.