The Hellboy reboot dashed the dreams of fans hoping to see Guillermo del Toro’s story come to an end. But the prospect of a new R-Rated film directed by Neil Marshall and staring Stranger Things‘s David Harbour certainly generated a lot of excitement. Enough, it seems, for Lionsgate to get in on the enterprise.
According to Splash Report (via The Hollywood Reporter), Lionsgate is in final negotations to pick up Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. As previously reported, the film will ignore the storylines from the original Hellboy and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Instead, the film will start a new tale and presumably reset many elements of the Hellboy premise; including the title character’s role in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense and his relationship with firestarter Liz Sherman. Whether or not Professor Bruttenholm will also be alive is anybody’s guess.
As the THR article noted, Hellboy is a unique in that each film was released by a different studio. The first came courtesy of the short-lived Revolution Studios while the second was released through Universal after its home video division saw surprising profits from the DVD release of the original film. Will Lionsgate prove to be a longterm home for Hellboy as a film property? Time will tell.
Meanwhile, the possibility of an R-Rated Hellboy has fans of two minds about the project going forward. While Marshall — director of Descent and the wonderful Dog Soldiers — benefits from the added freedom, he is is fully capable of delivering great action with more restrictions. His realization of the Battle of the Blackwater on Game of Thrones proves he does not need to be overly graphic to get his point across. Granted, my notion of graphic violence may be calibrated differently. At the same time, Hellboy comics tend toward more atmospherics than gory details.
Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen plans to shoot in the fall.