This year, the confirmation of the Hellboy reboot signaled the end of Guillermo del Toro's fan-favorite adaptations in favor of an R-rated reimagining helmed by Neil Marshall. Due to many reasons that range from budgetary issues to scheduling conflicts, del Toro's planned finale for his Hellboy trilogy sadly never left the drawing board, much to the displeasure of fans, cast members and del Toro himself.
With that, Selma Blair, who played the pyrokinetic Liz Sherman in the first two Hellboy movies, has finally given her two cents on the upcoming reboot of a franchise that provided one of her most popular roles to date.
The B.P.R.D.'s Resident Firestarter Talks About Hellboy's End
While the actress was promoting her new movie Mom and Dad, which also stars Nicolas Cage, at the Toronto International Film Festival (#TIFF), #SelmaBlair told Yahoo! Movies that she's finished with the Hellboy movies for good. This is because the reboot will be helmed by a new set of filmmakers led by The Descent director Neil Marshall, and Blair's loyalty lies with del Toro.
"My heart lies with Guillermo del Toro and his creations of it. My 'Hellboy' world is in Guillermo’s brain and that’s where it stays. They’ll do whatever they’ll do; it’ll be a totally different incarnation. My job is done."
Even if Blair did reprise her role as Liz Sherman in the upcoming movie, this wouldn't make much sense. Hellboy (2018) has been teased to be a soft reboot that will follow an entirely new story, meaning that Liz's character arc from the first two movies and her destiny as the mother of Hellboy's (Ron Perlman) twins won't be addressed. It's possible that someone else would play Liz in the reboot (or in a potential sequel) but Blair will have nothing to do with this interpretation of the character.
Blair's acceptance of the end of her Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) career echoes both del Toro and Perlman's sentiments – both of whom have no hard feelings, despite their personal connections to the Hellboy franchise. In fact, Perlman even wished David Harbour, the newest Hellboy, the best of luck. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Tambor, who played B.P.R.D. head Tom Manning, threw shade at Hellboy creator Mike Mignola for seemingly abandoning del Toro's vision.
The Undead Elephant In The Room
Another issue that has become synonymous to the Hellboy reboot was the recent whitewashing controversy regarding Ed Skrein. Since Blair isn't a part of the new Hellboy, she didn't pay much attention to the news surrounding the project, making her interview on the TIFF the first time she heard about the whitewashing issue. But even so, she had nothing but praise for Ed Skrein's decision to leave the reboot.
"There was a day when whoever acted the role best [got the part] no matter what race or ethnicity they were. But I understand that so many people are passed over that are capable, and I think it’s admirable to say, ‘I bow out to find someone that’s trying to break into this business.’ It’s a new time for actors, and welcome to it."
For those unfamiliar, #EdSkrein was originally cast as Ben Daimio, an undead soldier of Asian-American origin. In a statement on Twitter, Skrein explained that he accepted the role before doing necessary research on Daimio. However, upon realizing that Daimio had a mixed Asian heritage, the Deadpool actor felt it was only right to step away from the movie and let an Asian actor portray Daimio.
The role was then given to Daniel Dae Kim, a casting choice that was met with much praise.
For fans of the original Hellboy movies, Blair's farewell to her days of burning supernatural entities is somewhat bittersweet. Though Hellboy (2018) means that fans will get to see a new, darker take on their favorite beer-guzzling demon, this also means that del Toro's original vision will never see the conclusion it deserves.
What do you think of Selma Blair's thoughts on the Hellboy reboot? Share your thoughts in the comments below.