Regardless of how fans feel about it, the next #Hellboy movie will be a reboot without the inclusion of Guillermo del Toro or Ron Perlman. No blood sacrifices are going to change that, as the acclaimed duo have already shared their thoughts on Twitter, and Guillermo even gave the beloved franchise's future creative team his best wishes. Tentatively titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, the R-rated reboot will have Neil Marshall at the helm and Stranger Things actor David Harbour donning the shorn-short horns. The pair will take on an R-rated version of the character, but just how adult is the source material?
Despite the loss of Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman, early promises that this new iteration of the character will be aiming for an R rating is guaranteed to appease many bloodthirsty fans. Scriptwriter Andrew Cosby (who is co-writing alongside Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and Andrew Cosby), elaborated on the direction and tone of the relaunch:
"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 (Marshall) 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 in the comics".
Walking The Razor's Edge:
These comments will be music to the ears of many fans as well, who certainly needed placating after the disappointing news that del Toro's Hellboy 3: Dark Worlds was officially cancelled.
In fact, jumping on the R-rated bandwagon is the ideal move, considering the source material is so rich with dark and grizzly characters. To give you a taste of what to expect with Marshall's "darker, more gruesome" adaptation of Hellboy, here are five things from the comics that we're desperate to see in all their gruesome glory.
5. Rise Of The Blood Queen
The working title alludes to the fittingly gruesome Queen of Blood, who featured in a popular story arc titled the "Wild Hunt", in which she was brought back to life using the blood of innocent villagers. Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy featured resurrection through blood, but nothing to this scale of mass murder.
The Queen of Blood's wrath was so terrifying that many of the witches of England decided they would rather drown than be at her mercy, following events that set the dreaded character against the them. This lead to many suicides as a means to escape her wrath.
It's uncertain how heavily Marshall's film will lean upon that particular story, but that moment would make a chilling statement about how different this version of the character will be.
4. The Crooked Man
Hellboy often threads through the line between monster and man, turning heroes and villains into an indiscernible Lovecraftian mix of anti-heroes and bad guys. But Hellboy still manages to throw some truly terrifying creatures your way, such as the Crooked Man.
"After his death and pact with the Devil, Witkins (The Crooked Man) became a misshapen crab-like creature with multiple eyes that projects an image of his original form that is a more crooked with his head lolling to the side, slack-jawed with several teeth missing, a deathly pale cast to his flesh and his sideburns even more fuzz-like." - Hellboy.wikia
A perverted miser in life, and a demonic soul collector in death: the Crooked Man is the out-and-out horror villain of a horror movie if there ever was one. To see the Crooked Man on the big screen would surely give Hellboy fans a thrill, and everybody else nightmares.
3. Hellboy Hits A Horse (And It Disintegrates?)
Yes, that happens. Hellboy is confronted by his re-animated adversary Vladimir Giurescu, who charges at him on horse back while Hellboy is chained to a wooden pole. The devilish rogue breaks the pole and smacks it against the charging horse. Giurescu and his horse are relieved of all their fleshy matter, leaving only bones behind. This is a moment that would be perfect for Marshall's gruesome reimagining.
Hell hath no fury like a Hellboy chained.
2. Mignola's Signature Atmosphere
Mignola manages to tell stories through his panels that often don't even require words. His dark scenery often creates a deep and visceral mood that needs no further explanation. This means that for the reboot, there could be scenes with minimal dialogue - instead focusing on other ways to create atmosphere.
If Marshall's movie can capture the disturbing atmosphere of Mignola's comics, then Hellboy is bound to be a creep-fest worth waiting for.
1. More Lovecraftian Nightmares
Guillermo del Toro painted a stunning picture of Hellboy's world with his sadly unfinished trilogy. He created his own modern fairy tail, steeped in lore and characterized by his own style. Yet there was more often a sense of wonder than terror at the sight of his fantastically realized creatures, possibly because this is the way in which del Toro sees Lovecraftian beasts himself.
However, Hellboy is filled with genuinely horrifying creations that not only look repulsive, but come loaded with their own spine-tingling back stories. If director Neil Marshall is really going to make this R-Rated iteration of Hellboy stand out from the beloved variation that came before, he really has to plum the depths of hell to drag out all the weird creatures in the mythos.
To what extent we will see these aspects of Hellboy comics in the upcoming movie is still unknown. Cosby went on the claim that the R-rated script is complete, but that work on the story will continue as development goes ahead. As we keep an eager eye on what the creative team has in store, expect more information to come soon.