Four years out from the last, pretty awful Hellboy reboot, there’s a new dark prophecy for our crimson hero to fight: the inevitable next Hellboy reboot. And he’d better get his Right Hand of Doom ready, because here it comes.
According to Deadline, Millennium Films is moving forward with a new Hellboy flick to be directed by Mom and Dad’s Brian Taylor. Titled The Crooked Man, the movie will be based on the comic storyline of the same name, with a script from the Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and his Dark Horse Comics collaborator, Chris Golden. Bringing in the man who understands the character more than anyone else: an idea just crazy enough to work?
But it is a tad worrisome that one half of the Neveldine/Taylor team that gave us the likes of Crank and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is at the helm.
In our review of 2019’s Hellboy, one of our main gripes was that director Neil Marshall didn’t understand that part of the comic’s effectiveness was its push and pull, saying of the best Hellboy stories:
“Tongue-in-cheek absurdity is tempered by dark, unwinking gothic imagery. Massive swaths of inky blackness are broken by lurid shades of flame. The Hell on Earth of Nazis and Lovecraft are cut with the down-to-earth grumble of an ‘aw, crap.’ And violent battles are preceded by quiet, contemplative moments—a bird chirping, a statue’s stoic gaze, the stony form of a castle backgrounding the falling leaves of a graveyard’s dying tree.”
A guy who made his name in balls-to-the-wall, non-stop hyper-action wouldn’t seem to be in line with our ideal vision.
But, speaking to Collider, Taylor seems to have addressed the issue head on, suggesting he won’t be trying to overplay his own sensibilities.
“The [original Guillermo del Toro Hellboy] movies were massive scale space operas and just pure Del Toro through and through,” he said, adding that he’d be going for more of the comic’s feeling of “lean and mean, creepy folk horror.”
Taylor also promised that, while they were aiming for another R-rated take, it would not be the senseless gore of the last reboot.
“This material, this original material is dark and scary and violent and adult,” he said. “So in order to really embrace that, we just don’t wanna have any handcuffs on.”
He continued, “I want fans to know that we’re coming at this film from a place of love for the original material, and for the character—for Mike’s character. We’re not trying to reinvent some completely different idea of Hellboy. We’re trying to get back to the feeling of these particular books from the mid-aughts. It’s something that hasn’t been seen on screen before, but it’s a version I think hardcore Hellboy fans will want to see.”
Anyway, the story will see Hellboy in 1950s Appalachia, where he meets some witches and ultimately faces off against the town’s titular Devil. Like a sitcom dad’s description of his wedding!
It hasn’t yet been revealed who will play the third iteration of Hellboy, but how about this: we bring back Ron Perlman but now get a body double and CGI his head to look like the header image? Otherwise, fine, just get the Reacher guy and digitally deepen his voice.