Well the optimism was fun while it lasted. A few weeks ago, Guillermo del Toro took to Twitter to gauge interest in Hellboy 3, the third film in his comic book franchise that began with his 2004 film and continued with the fantastical and haunting Hellboy II: The Golden Army in 2008. After reaching 100,000 votes on Twitter, del Toro agreed to arrange a sit-down with star Ron Perlman and comic creator Mike Mingola to discuss a potential Hellboy 3. Well it appears that meeting happened, and the outcome is not exactly what fans expected.
Earlier today, del Toro posted the following on Twitter:
It’s unclear why, exactly, Hellboy 3 is now officially dead, but the project was always a longshot. For one, Hellboy and Hellboy II were both distributed by different studios (Columbia Pictures and Universal Pictures, respectively), so that was an obstacle. And secondly, neither film made an insane amount of money that would make a third Hellboy movie an easy greenlight for a studio. Hellboy grossed a respectable $99.3 million worldwide while the sequel, which cost more to make, grossed $160.4 million. In the past, del Toro has made no secret about the fact that Hellboy 3 would be the most expensive of the bunch, so that made the trilogy-capper that much more difficult to get made.
But it sounds like this “cancellation” of Hellboy 3 happened at the creative stage, so it’s possible Mingola and/or Perlman felt the property was better left alone. Or maybe they made overtures at the studio level and got the big ol’ “No.” Whatever the case, this is a bummer for fans who wanted to see the adventures of Hellboy continue and to see del Toro dive back into that colorful world. But it’s also nice to know for sure, 100%, that we can stop holding our breath.
Up next for del Toro is the smaller budgeted Fox Searchlight film The Shape of Water, which he wrote and directed. The film finds del Toro regular Doug Jones playing a fish-man in a secret lab during the Cold War, with Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon filling the lead roles. That movie comes out later this year, but it’s unclear what del Toro’s next project after the might be. He’s staying plenty busy, as always, as he also just launched the animated Netflix series Trollhunters to significant acclaim.