In a recent interview with Collider, Guillermo del Toro broke fanboy hearts saying that a Hellboy 3 is likely not going to happen in the near future.
“It’s very unlikely it’ll happen because you need things to converge so strongly. [Producer] Larry Gordon, Universal, the rights, Ron[Perlman’s] and mine’s availability, [comic creator] Mike [Mingola’s] blessing; we have pieces of that, but we don’t have all of that. You need so many things to confluence and then you need about $150 million.”
At least one of those pieces may have just fallen into place, however. Universal Studios currently owns the rights to all Hellboy projects, but since del Toro and Ron Perlman, the titular Hellboy, were working with Legendary Pictures on his new Pacific Rim, he said the following:
“Not just anybody can make this movie. I loved working for Legendary and I know for Guillermo working on Pacific Rim was one of his greatest experiences. The reason I loved working for them is because Guillermo was so happy. I came in six months into the shoot and he seemed as fresh as a daisy, simply because he was working for someone who appreciated and supported his outlandish visions of what he wanted to put on the screen. My immediate, silent wish was, wouldn’t it be great if these guys came in and helped resolve the Hellboy series.”
Legendary had an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers at the time, so them getting to work on a Universal-owned franchise was very unlikely. Here is what the Legendary’s founder Thomas Tull had to say about the rumors in a recent io9 interview:
“Seeing how we don’t own the rights to Hellboy, there may be lawyers that would get upset about that. But you know, in Guillermo’s world, maybe he can make that go away. I don’t know. [Laughs]”
It seems since that interview, however, Mr. Tull made the problem go away himself. How? By ending his contract with Warner Brothers, which was coming to an end regardless, and signing a deal with Universal earlier today! That certainly makes it seem like it might remove at least one of the hurdles del Toro spoke about.
That may also make funding less of an issue. Del Toro spoke about financing the picture in an interview with digital spy, saying he would not want to do a crowd funding campaign to pay for it.
“I’m not in favour of an established franchise, established director coming in and crowd-funding. That’s great for first, second-time directors, young guys.”
That point of view has already been expressed by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and many others. “I think I’ve missed the window based on the fact that I do have access to materials, I do have access to money. I don’t know, I feel like I should leave that for the cats that really need it at this point, ” said Kevin Smith to the Hollywood Reporter about funding the finale of his own trilogy, Clerks.
As for the other hurdles, Mike Mignola himself has always been positive, at least publicly, about the movie, and the possibility of a third one, though he did state as recently as April that the movie does not seem to be happening.
Honestly, however, the biggest obstacle I see, is the availability of the director and cast. Del Toro himself has been notorious for having more film projects than he can possibly handle, being attached to the Hobbit for a long time, and talking about his dream project “At the Mountains of Madness” for nearly a decade now (the script was apparently written by 2006). the cast have definitely expressed interest, however, despite the star’s advancing age and the physical demands for the role (Perlman is 63). Perlman said the following to Empire:
“Both Guillermo and I want to do it. Selma [Blair] and Doug [Jones] too, it’s just a question of finding someone who thinks there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
So, is Hellboy 3 officially in development hell? Guillermo’s prediction seems grim, but could the new Legendary deal get the ball rolling? I certainly hope so. What do you think?