The Hellboy film duet has and always will be one of my favourites. From the stone-fisted, red Ron Perlman to the scaled, blue Doug Jones, I thoroughly enjoyed the style and execution the films achieved from these gritty, dark comics. The first instalment introduced a myriad of characters into my life, almost all of which were well-rounded and perfectly cast.
So, here’s my issue: Hellboy 3 has been long-awaited and kept fans in anticipation for many years now. It was going to round off what would have been a superb trilogy (provided the third instalment was at the same standard as the previous two). Through various disagreements and delays, it transpires that Hellboy 3 is now a thing of the past – it is categorically confirmed as a dead project, and that is extremely upsetting.
I loved Perlman. I loved the chemistry between all the characters and cast; the calamitous feel of the anti-hero’s story and his struggle with himself as much as the various monsters he faced. I mean, I’m sure the reboot will include much of the same aspects but that’s what bothers me: the reboot. It’s not Hellboy 3, it’s not a continuation of an artistic and inventive series that more than deserved a satisfying finale. Now that Del Toro has confirmed it, the reboot is sure to pick up speed and therefore crush my dreams. What rubs salt in the wound is the hopeful and open ending of the second film. Whilst being a superb film, they opened up many strands of narrative that were very much exciting for the third part. They weren’t so much cliff-hangers as they were new aspects of the universe that would have made for a brilliant final film.
Alas, we are left with Hellboy: Rise of The Blood Queen. In multiple other scenarios, I’d be hugely excited. With rumours circulating about Ian McShane and Milla Jovavich joining the fray, it would normally be quite an attractive premise. I just can’t shake the feeling that I shall forever be disappointed the original trilogy was left unfinished with so much scope for a knockout ending. Further to this, my hopes were toyed with and battered by tweets and rumours coming from the production camp. One minute it was on, the next it wasn’t, the next it’s on provided enough fans shout loud enough until finally, it died.
I suppose we should entertain the thought of the new franchise then...
In the comics, Nimue, The Blood Queen, is a crazy-ass witch - created to reign terror on the world. With this new R-rated reimagining of the comic book, the fantastical nature of this particular arc could prove very successful. With plenty of scope for huge ‘sword and sorcery’ set-pieces and the almost steam-punk science fiction that inhabits the comics, I’d like to see Legendary pictures attach their name to it. That being said, Lionsgate is rumoured to be purchasing the distribution rights which isn’t so bad... I guess.
With David Harbour donning the red fist, I feel it is quite an ambitious undertaking. Deadpool and Logan have proven that R-rated superhero films work. Both being very commercially and critically successful, but they had the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman leading and whilst Harbour has proved to be menacing, big, and grouchy, I’m going to need to see a trailer before I’m totally convinced. His appearance at SDCC with Dark Horse being affirmation (or as good as) that he shall embody the role of ‘Big Red’.
It’s exciting to an extent. I have a feeling the new films will be more solely focused on Hellboy himself rather than the B.P.R.D, which will be interesting. I did feel the back story could have been explored in the originals but who knows, maybe it was going to be... We’ll never know. Whilst I love the character, I think I’m just bitter, or let down by the world. I know many fans feel a little robbed or crestfallen that the first incarnation was never finished and as a result, we’ll never know where Del Toro was planning to go with it.
We’ll all just have to sit back, watch Hellboy II and imagine the glorious ending that would have been. All I can say is that I hope the new rendition does the character proud, because, at least for me, he is one of my favourite superheroes.
If you have any other thoughts on the matter then let me know. Hellboy is awesome and I’d love to hear from you @MugwumpBlog