Guillermo Del Toro’s much-loved Hellboy duology as been in limbo for nearly a decade now after Hellboy II: The Golden Army was released in 2008. While Del Toro’s films didn’t garner the kind of attention or box office numbers as other high profile comic-book movies are now enjoying, they were well-received by fans of the character and franchise. Unfortunately, Del Toro admitted that a third instalment to his universe was canned and this meant that he would be ending his time with the character. But, as with anything in Hollywood, nothing is ever done for good, and Hellboy fans will be happy to hear that a reboot is in the works and already has several names attached to the project.
The first and one of the most important names to be attached is the actor who will be transforming into the titular character, Hellboy, is David Harbour. He’s not a household name but series buffs might recognise him from his work in the hugely popular Netflix series Stranger Things. He’s had a relatively active career both in series such as Law and Order and Elementary, and has also featured in recent movies, namely The Equalizer and Black Mass.
The other actors that are attached to the project are Ian McShane, the grizzled veteran most will recognise as Winston from the John Wick films, as well as Milla Jovovich – famed for her frequent starring role in the Resident Evil film adaptations. Further expanding of the cast has yet to be confirmed, but they’ve got some good names involved so far.
Ed Skrein (who played Ajax in Deadpool) has also been in the media for stepping away from the project, so that the studio could “cast appropriately”, after learning that he would be playing the role of Ben Daimo (a recurring Asian/American character in the Hellboy comics).
Despite Skrein’s dispute, the creative team said to be attached to the project should also inspire fans with confidence, not least because Hellboy’s creator Mike Mignola is involved with the script-writing for the film. Mignola has been used as an artist and writer for both Marvel and DC in the past, and has helmed many Hellboy comics as well as the extended Hellboy universe concerning the story arcs of other characters.
The speculated director is Englishman Neil Marshall, who is best known for his contributions directing episodes of Game of Thrones, one of which (“The Watchers on the Wall”) he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing. Fans usually approach new adapted projects with caution, because they can often be cheap attempts at a cash-grab by a studio that isn’t committed to producing a solid movie, but in this case, it appears as though the creative team involved is likely to be fully capable of creating something worthwhile.
Which story they will be adapting is still somewhat mysterious, but the tentative title for the movie is “Hellboy: The Rise of the Blood Queen”, which references a character named Nimue – “the Queen of Blood”, who is an established character in the Hellboy universe. Milla Jovovich is attached to play this role, and while the plot isn’t known, the Queen of Blood is historically a renowned witch who finds herself at odds with Hellboy and his allies.
The movie is slated for a release in 2018, but comic book adaptations are often subject to delays in production if the creative team undergoes any changes, so don’t hold your breath just yet. If all goes well, though, we should be in for a spectacular reimagining of Hellboy’s dark fantasy universe that will hopefully prove to be as enjoyable as the franchise it’s succeeding.