What happened to Hellboy 3? Why didn’t Del Toro and Ron Perlman get to complete their trilogy?
Hellboy (2004) and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), are both a bit of a cult classic among comic book movie fans. The films, which are gory, violent and heavily stylised like the graphic novels on which they are based, were hits with both audiences and critics, and one of the main reasons for this was the work of lead actor Ron Perlman and celebrated director Guillermo del Toro.
So what happened to Hellboy 3?
In 2019, British director Neil Marshall rebooted the franchise, this time with Stranger Things actor David Harbour in the leading role. Fans were disappointed in the new version, to say the least. The film, which features lazy writing and startlingly poor special effects, was a complete failure, losing money and facing harsh criticism on almost every level.
“I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie,” Harbour said on social media last year. “Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented. But people were just very very against it, and that’s people’s right.”
And so, the reboot came and went with little fanfare. However, dedicated Hellboy fans may still hold onto some hope — Perlman hasn’t written off the character just yet and he still seems very interested in Hellboy 3.
In an interview with CBM, Perlman recently gave his thoughts on the reboot, and clarified why he wasn’t involved in the first place. He also hinted at the fact that he’s not quite ready to give up on the character.
“The reboot was something I had the opportunity to participate in and decided that the only version of Hellboy I’m interested in is the one I do with Guillermo,” Perlman said. “So in walking away from it, I truly walked away from it, and haven’t seen it or heard much about it. I wished them well, but it was not in my bailiwick.”
However, Perlman emphasized that the only reason he hasn’t done more Hellboy is out of loyalty to del Toro, and, furthermore, the only thing that could get him back in the red makeup is if del Toro was in the director’s chair once again.
“If there was a chance to finish the trilogy with Guillermo [with Hellboy 3],” Perlman said in a different interview with comicbook.com late last year, “in the image of what he had in mind in terms of closing all of the circles, that is something that I would, to this day, consider doing.”
Perlman went on to say that the only reason it may never happen is that del Toro is one of the busiest men in Hollywood, and that getting him to sign on to another Hellboy film more than 15 years after the last one may just be too difficult.
However, there is a chance, and it appears as if Perlman is just as excited about the thought of a third Guillermo Hellboy film as fans would be. We certainly think they should return — and it seems the only thing stopping them is time.