The prospect of a third Hellboy movie has been “in the ether” pretty much ever since Hellboy II: The Golden Army hit theaters. That sequel concluded in such a way as to set up a third and final film in the comic-book trilogy, and director Guillermo del Toro has been high on the idea for years. But while the Hellboy movies were successful, their performance exists in the grey zone where greenlighting a third film isn’t necessarily an easy decision. The first Hellboy only made $99 million worldwide but performed extremely well on DVD, leading to The Golden Army, which made $160 million worldwide but which was released in the midst of the crumbling home video market. Meaning a studio now can’t bank on Hellboy 3 film to make a profit after its theatrical release.
Complicating matters is the fact that del Toro’s idea for the third Hellboy film makes it the most expensive of the three, and while he’s been shopping the movie to various studios over the years (he even broached the subject with Legendary head Thomas Tull), so far no one’s biting.
But that’s not draining the enthusiasm of del Toro and star Ron Perlman to make the picture, and during an appearance on the Empire podcast, the actor once again expressed why he feels compelled to make the third Hellboy movie happen despite being satisfied with his time as the character:
“I really feel as though I’m done with the character. I don’t have a burning desire to put that shit on again. But Guillermo told me what the resolve of the trilogy would look like, in broad strokes, and it’s such an amazingly theatrical, cinematic idea, that I found it essential that we do it. We were designed to be a trilogy, with a beginning, a middle and an end. We’ve only done two-thirds, so I feel that we’re not really done until we finish it.”
Del Toro has spoken in the past about how the third film sees Hellboy becoming the Beast of the Apocalypse, and Perlman reiterated those comments to Empire:
“Holy shit, he’s the beast of the Apocalypse. He has to take down civilisation. He has to. It’s non-negotiable. That’s the foundation for the story, and that’s why I think it would be a shame if we don’t do it.”
The filmmaker even has big plans for Hellboy’s children, as Selma Blair’s Liz is revealed to be pregnant with twins at the end of Hellboy II:
“I’ll tell you this. The two twins: one would look like the mum and one would look like the dad. And one of them was going to be completely fucking corrupt, the other one angelic. Which one was which? Only Guillermo would make the fucked-up-looking one be the angel. So then that adds to the saga.”
I feel like in this day and age, with the popularity of the superhero genre, the sheer notion of “Guillermo del Toro making a comic-book movie” is an easy sell. But it’s now been seven years since Hellboy II was released and there still doesn’t appear to be any significant movement forward.
For del Toro’s part, he’s plenty busy in the interim. He’s currently readying to release his first adult drama in the English language, Crimson Peak, and is gearing up to begin production on Pacific Rim 2 early next year. But there’s also movement on another long-developing del Toro project, The Haunted Mansion, with Ryan Gosling recently being rumored to star, so I guess if even The Haunted Mansion can be made (maybe) there’s hope for Hellboy 3. Someday…