For a moment, the original Hellboy film universe was to continue after Guillermo del Toro’s departure.
In a wide-reaching conversation with The Nerdist about his various projects, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola addressed some of the criticism over the upcoming film, Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. Many were disappointed to hear the new film would act as a reboot and ignore the story developed by del Toro. But as Mignola explained, he wanted to preserve del Toro’s film universe.
“We originally started trying to tie it to the del Toro universe and continue those movies,” he 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.” Starting over also gives the material a chance to find “another leaning.”
Sadly, it also meant losing Ron Perlman, the original Hellboy, as he would only return with del Toro in the director’s chair. Stranger Things‘ David Harbour will take over. According to Mignola, the actor has already begun make-up tests to transform him the red demon creature with a taste for pancakes.
Mignola also mentioned that he would have loved to see del Toro complete his vision for Hellboy. The third film in his planned trilogy would have dealt with Hellboy facing his destiny as the ruler of Hell on Earth and the ramifications of becoming a father. In lieu of a Hellboy 3, del Toro went on to make films like the gothic romance Crimson Peak and the upcoming Cold War fairy tale The Shape of Water. His giant robot vs. giant monster flick Pacific Rim also spawned a sequel due out next year.
Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is set to debut in 2018.