Earlier this year, fans were stunned to learn that Hellboy would be making a theatrical comeback without director Guillermo del Toro in tow. Creator Mike Mignola announced Hellboy would be getting a reboot separate from the director's previous film. However, it does look like the reboot was once meant to tie-in with del Toro's series.
Recently, Mignola sat down with Nerdist to talk about Hellboy's reboot, and the creator revealed his original plans tied the upcoming movie to del Toro's universe.
"We originally started trying to tie it to the del Toro universe and continue those movies," Mignola said. "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.
"It's exciting to have another director. It's exciting to take another path, to take that material and give it another leaning," Mignola continued, nodding to Neil Marshall's directorial role.
Still, there are plenty of fans who are upset to see del Toro go. The writer and director oversaw the first Hellboy movies which starred Ron Perlman. The pair famously tried to make a third Hellboy movie happen for years, but Mignola's reboot has since crushed dreams of such a film happening. Marshall is set to take over del Toro's previous director's seat while David Harbour steps in to play Hellboy. The Stranger Things star has been prepping for his devilish role as of late, and Mignola says Harbour is determined to get Hellboy right.
"[David] is super excited about being Hellboy and he wants to make sure he gets it right. He's texting me Hellboy questions about his history, about what the character would think about this or about that. It's really exciting to be back and see this thing come together," the creator stressed.
Production on the Hellboy reboot has yet to start, but the film is making progress. News broke recently about Lionsgate's interest in distributing the movie, and the reboot's title Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen leaked earlier this summer. Perlman even met up with Harbour to pass the Hellboy baton to Hollywood's newest hero, so it looks like fans will just have to wait and see how the newcomer does with Mignola's iconic creation.
Mike Mignola created Hellboy back in 1993. Hellboy is a demon who was summoned by Nazi scientists but recovered as a child by the Allies and then raised by the head of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Hellboy eventually became a member of the BPRD and investigated supernatural occurrences and fought monsters.
The first live-action Hellboy movie premiered in 2004. Hellboy II: The Golden Army followed in 2008. In addition to Ron Perlman, the films starred Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, Karel Roden, Rupert Evans, John Hurt, and Doug Jones. There is no word yet on when Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen will hit theaters.
Hellboy's blend of vintage pulp action and mystery, folklore, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy has turned it into one of Dark Horse Comics' best-known publications, spawning several spin-offs such as a BPRD series, Lobster Johnson, and a prequel series titled Hellboy and the BPRD. Mignola recently killed Hellboy himself but continued to tell his story in the after in the pages of the 10-issue Hellboy in Hell series. The expanded "Mignola-verse" offers plenty of material for an expanded film and television universe.