Creator of Hellboy Mike Mignola took to Facebook back in May to announce that a live-action reboot of the character was in the works, with new details slowly trickling out ever since. One of the newest details has to do with who will distribute the film, with recent rumors claiming that Lionsgate is in final negotiations to move forward with the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
One of the most pertinent details in the new Hellboy film, titled "Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen," is that the film is leaning into the darker elements of the comic book, aiming for an "R" rating. Lionsgate is no stranger to releasing controversial films, having brought audiences the John Wick films, Dredd, and The Cabin in the Woods. The upcoming reboot will be directed by Neil Marshall, with Lionsgate having previously released his suspenseful spelunking thriller The Descent.
Even though the film will be shot with an R rating in mind, Marshall recently revealed to the Post Mortem podcast that he doesn't aim to be explicit just because he can.
"We've been granted permission to do it R-rated, which for me is just like taking the cuffs off. It's like, okay, so now we can just make the movie we want to make," Marshall explained.
He continued, "It's not like I'm going to force it to be R-rated, but if it happens to come out that way, just because of my own sensibilities, then fine. And nobody's going to stop us. So, that's the main [difference]."
Luckily, audiences have proven they'd be interested in seeing much darker fare than what is traditionally seen in superhero movies from the likes of Marvel and DC.
Marshall pointed out, "And I'm sure, obviously, the success of things like Deadpool and Logan have not hurt that cause. But, also, when you go back to the original material, it is kind of bloody, so I'm going to embrace that."
Hellboy will be played by Stranger Things' David Harbour, taking on the role made famous by Ron Perlman. After the initial announcement about the upcoming film, fans were both excited at a new live-action adaptation but also disappointed that neither director Guillermo del Toro nor star Perlman would be back for their third film based on the Dark Horse comic series.
Despite the initial disappointment, del Toro has gone on to give his blessing to the film.
"I don't own Hellboy, Mike does." del Toro explained at the Annecy Animation Festival. "So, you know, he is the father of the character and if he wants to reboot it, it's perfectly fine. I got to make two - that's two more than I thought I would get to make … So you know, as far as I'm concerned god speed and god bless."