Everyone’s favorite man-demon hybrid is back, with an entirely fresh reboot of the film series coming to the big screen sometime next year. The previous two Hellboy movies, directed by Hollywood horror kingpin Guillermo del Toro, collectively grossed over $200 million and the sarcastic crime-fighting demon has since become a household name, rising above the more underground cult status afforded to him by the long-running comic book series of the same name.
We have precious few details on what to expect from next year’s film release, titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, save for the fact that it is pretty much guaranteed to be considerably darker and more violent than the more family-friendly versions from the previous films. The film has already been given an R rating, meaning you can
expect something much darker from this installation, perhaps in a similar vein to Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the Batman series, which brought a much edgier tone to the franchise and went on to gross over a billion dollars, more than any other Batman series. Let’s take a look at what we know so far, before exploring where the franchise
What We Know So Far
The biggest indicator of what kind of film to expect is by taking a look at who is behind the helm. Guillermo del Toro will no longer be directing the franchise, with horror movie veteran Neil Marshall poised to be director. Marshall is the British film director behind the gut-wrenchingly terrifying horror film The Descent, which follows a group of women lost in an underground cave network who have to become savages to survive.
His directing style is much more edgy, gritty and psychologically terrifying than del Toro’s, although the black humour is still present throughout all of Marshall’s work, so we can expect Hellboy’s legendary sense of humor to linger on in the reboot.
For the cast, David Harbour from the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things is billed to play the big red guy himself, and much of the rest of the current cast list suggests that the director is avoiding simply stuffing the film with a star-studded ensemble, going for lesser-known talent who are well-versed in horror film acting. The key protagonist of the film is horror legend and Resident Evil veteran Milla Jovovich, who will be playing the Blood Queen, a medieval British sorceress who plans to destroy mankind. Jovovich recently shared a very funky movie poster for the film on Instagram, which has stoked speculation about the film even further.
This reboot could potentially achieve the same success as Nolan did with his Dark Knight series, meaning we could be seeing a lot more of Hellboy across a variety of different platforms and genres. The Hellboy universe was first born in 1993 as a character in the San Diego Comic-Con Comics series, before getting his own comic
book a couple of years later. There have since been over 100 Hellboy comic book series and miniseries, with some of the most iconic and widely-read being the Hellboy in Hell series and the critically-acclaimed Seeds of Destruction miniseries.
Not long after the hugely successful comic book series was first launched, Hellboy began popping up in a variety of other mediums. Aside from the 2004 and 2008 films, he has since appeared in other media, too. There have been several highly-popular animated TV series, which ran for years on Cartoon Network before being distributed on DVD. There have also been a number of bestselling Hellboy video games, including the PS3 title Hellboy: The Science of Evil, produced by Resident Evil developers Capcom. He also made a video game comeback just last year when he was released as part of a DLC package as a playable character in the hit fighter video game Injustice 2,
which has since prompted a resurgence of interest in the franchise on gaming forums.
Beyond this, Hellboy can be seen on other types of games too, with online casino betway offering a Hellboy branded online slot game for the most die-hard fans. You can also enjoy the franchise through a series of novels written by Christopher Golden, who has just released the 14th novel in the series, Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors.
It’s clearly a popular, profitable franchise with a committed fan base, and the success of the next film could determine whether or not we see a resurgence in the brand, and the little red devil's face appearing everywhere once again. This time around we can definitely expect the pop culture world of Hellboy to take on a distinctly different flavor, with darker undertones and a more sleek and stylish look compared to the Hellboy of the previous decade. Either way, we can’t wait for what looks set to be the craziest, most memorable installment yet.