If you’re a fan of the Hellboy films (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) I’m sure you know about the devastating news that came from the New York Comic-Con this year. Ron Perlman, the veteran actor who played the superhero in the first two parts of the franchise, suggested that the long-awaited third instalment may have been permanently shelfed. That’s right, it’s been totally cancelled.
When the underground podcast Screen Rant invited Perlman to expand on the comments he said that, due to his and Guillermo del Toro’s (the director of the series) busy schedules, he is surprised that even the second movie took place. This, coupled with the fact that although the box office success of the second movie was acceptable it wasn’t a huge success, means that it’s now looking unlikely that Hellboy 3 will be hitting our screens any time soon.
It just seems that the upper echelons of Hollywood don’t think that the would-be trilogy would be a clever investment. Never one to be defeated, however, Perlman took to Twitter over the summer to campaign for the third screenplay of the story to be created as planned. “Anybody out there wanna see #HellboyIII as much as I do? Let’s get this muthaf**a trending, y’all! Let’s end the trilogy,” he argued. If only some people in Hollywood agreed.
Anybody out there wanna see #HellboyIII as much as I do? Let’s get this muthafucka trending, y’all!
Let’s end the trilogy; we earned it!
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) June 3, 2015
Pearlman hit the nail on the head though; you don’t mess with trilogies and this story needs an ending. Can you imagine if the Batman trilogy ended with the police hunting Batman? His legacy would be in absolute tatters.
The last film in the franchise – Hellboy II: The Golden Army – ended on a cliffhanger. (Spoiler alert – look away now if you need to.) We found out about Hellboy’s impending fatherhood; it was revealed that he was going to be the father of Liz Sherman’s (Selma Blair’s) twins. Plus, we found out about his destiny regarding the whole ‘catalyst of the apocalypse’ thing. So, what’s going to happen? Where is this going? These are details that we simply NEED TO KNOW. Leaving these questions unanswered could lead to widespread civil unrest. And once all the buildings have been burnt to the ground, the streets are reduced to smoking cinders and there is no infrastructure left, I hope Hollywood has a long, hard look at itself.
That may seem sensationalized, but never underestimate the power of Hellboy on popular culture. I’m not just talking about the blizzard of merchandise that has flooded the US here; avid fans have clamored for a Hellboy national day and followers can even pass the remaining 364 days of the year by accessing the wealth of games the franchise has spawned.
Pearlman lent his voice to Hellboy: The Science of Evil, a game released on consoles back in 2004 which saw Hellboy battle undead Nazis into oblivion. The franchise’s major success though, was saved for the online gaming industry where industry leaders like 32Red offer the official Hellboy slot game. 32Red’s online slot catalogue is brimming with spin-off games, but the Hellboy interactive slots game is undoubtedly one of their most prized possessions. The game includes five reels and 20 paylines with all the Hellboy characters included. Abe Sapien, Prof. Trevor Bruttenholm and Liz Sherman are all represented on the reels, and if you line up three of more of Hellboy’s immense arms of stone you can get access to the ‘underworld’ bonus feature which could see you win well over $25,000 – which might go some way to crowdfunding a trilogy revival in the right hands.
Furthermore, we all know that superheroes are in fashion now (which is why DC and Marvel are locked into a superhero movie arms race) and that might not last forever. Audiences are getting comic superheroes shoved down their throats and every other available orifice at an unholy rate – especially in the iGaming industry, with themed-slot games ranging from Superman at BetVictor and Captain America at bgo. To put it simply; We have a shelf life here and people will get bored soon. Now is the time to make Hellboy 3 and go out with an apocalyptic bang.
This was echoed by del Toro himself, when discussing the franchise’s hardcore fan base as the main reason for past success. “The first two movies made really good profits on a market that doesn’t exist anymore,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “The reason there’s a ‘Hellboy 2’ is not because the studios were passionate about the first one, it’s because the numbers made sense.”
He added: “‘Hellboy 1’ was such a huge, huge over-performer on Blu-ray and ancillary markets. It was one of the first movies on Blu-ray, it has multiple editions, all the ancillary markets over-performed everywhere. And the second one did well on all ancillary markets too, which now do not exist.
“It’s very hard to convince a studio when you’ve lost that stream of revenue. Theoretically, they basically broke even or came to a place where it made sense to make a sequel. It’s very hard for them to think with that arm gone it would still make sense.”
But we agree with Perlman. We really, really (really) need to see Hellboy 3 happen – there are just so many reasons why.
Do you still want to see Hellboy 3? If the answer is (presumably) ‘yes’, I suggest that you make as much noise on social media as possible. And start an online petition. And camp outside your local politician’s home shouting Hellboy-related insults towards them. Damn it, get yourself down to Hollywood with a huge sign and start a protest. They need to know that we are not taking this lying down.
This needs to happen.