Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is no more. To better reflect its reboot status, the film will now be called, simply, Hellboy.
At least, that is what a Lionsgate representative told Movieweb. According to the rep: “The official title is just Hellboy. The film is considered a reboot of the 2004 Hellboy, and is going by the same name.” The film stars David Harbour as Hellboy, with Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm and Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen. Well, presuming she doesn’t get a name change, too. Movieweb suggests she might be playing Nimue from a later Hellboy tale, but it’s always possible she’s a manifestation of Baba Yaga. Anything’s possible. It is Hellboy, after all.
While the change and the terse phrasing of the company statement may sour some fans of the original film series — to say nothing of completely dashing any hope for that series’ conclusion — this is a positive sign for the new film. Films featuring “rise” in the title have a habit of being … well … bad. Much like the old publishing adage that titles featuring gemstones sell poorly, features like 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines created an impression in many moviegoers that a “rising” film will be terrible. This seems to be doubly true in franchise pictures.
Even The Dark Knight Rises is not immune to the correlation between the word “rise” and a drop in quality.
And to be honest, I’ve been worried about the Hellboy reboot since the “Rise of the Blood Queen” title was announced. I am a believer in the “rise” curse and I’d prefer Hellboy not to be sunk by that perception before scene one is even filmed. But it seems someone involved with the production may also be a believer and swayed everyone away from a subtitle featuring dangerous terminology. Thank your local patron god for that stroke of luck.
The newly re-christened Hellboy opens sometime in 2018.