Director Guillermo del Toro brought us two beloved Hellboy movies in 2004 and 2008. While the franchise was a hit among the fandom, the second outing, The Golden Army, wasn't the box office hit that Universal was expecting.
This left the franchise in a strange state of limbo, which led to years of Guillermo del Toro and actor Ron Perlman fighting to get their third outing done. Ultimately, things didn't work out, and a reboot was announced, Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, to be directed by Neil Marshall and starring David Harbour.
This was a hard blow to many fans, who were left wondering why the studio scrapped del Toro's #Hellboy3 so abruptly. Now, we finally know: it was del Toro's own decision.
Hellboy creator #MikeMignola recently sat down for an interview with Nerdist, and he made a surprising revelation: The reboot was initially meant to be a continuation of del Toro's story.
Turns out Mignola and the creative team first approached del Toro, offering him the role of producer, but the director wasn't interested. That created a growing snowball of events, as #RonPerlman also rejected the offer to appear in the movie, seeing as del Toro wasn't involved:
"I would've loved to see Guillermo do his third movie and finish that story. But over the years it became very clear that wasn't going to happen. About three years ago the producers, the screenwriter Andrew Cosby, and I all started working on this new story. Del Toro didn’t want to have anything to do with it, he wasn't going to direct. He was offered to be a producer, and Ron [Perlman] wouldn’t do it without Guillermo.
This is really surprising. For months, we were led to believe that studios weren't interested in picking up #GuillermoDelToro's storyline. But now we know that he was the one to turn down the project, if Mignola's claim is accurate. Overall, it looks like the studio's vision (telling the story of the Blood Queen) with the film didn't align with del Toro's plan, which we know was quite elaborate and thought-out.
Moving On To Something New
Then came the time to decide to reboot the property. That decision came quite organically. The studio hired #NeilMarshall to direct, and Mignola realized it would feel wrong to continue a universe that was so inherently del Toro's. With that in mind, the decision was made to go in a completely new direction:
"So we originally started trying to tie it to the del Toro universe and continue those movies. But once we had Neil Marshall, we thought, 'Why are we going to try and continue that universe?' Because a del Toro movie is a del Toro movie, and you don't want to try and hand a del Toro movie to someone else. Especially someone as great as Neil Marshall. So that’s when it went from being this continuation to being a reboot."
OK, at least we finally know how we got to this point.
Was This The Right Move?
There's not really a right-and-wrong answer for the question, because neither of the two directions are inherently bad. Looking at the matter in one way, it would have been great to see Ron Perlman and Guillermo del Toro complete the story they were so passionate about and had been building for two movies.
However, the reboot is a new take on the character. The previous version of the story was released 2004, so it's great to see #Hellboy getting a modern update, and a more mature take. What could that entail? What kind of new adventures could we be expecting from that new approach to the property?
Either way, ultimately, the reboot is the one moving forward, so we should keep our minds open to see what it has to offer. Hopefully Neil Marshall and #DavidHarbour deliver an amazing film that can become the next cult hit for the character.
What do you think about Guillermo del Toro having the final say on Hellboy 3? Would you have liked to see it or are you happy with the reboot? Let me know in the comments!