To the surprise of probably no one who has been paying attention, this year's Hellboy probably won't be getting a sequel. This, according to a new interview with star David Harbour over at ComicBook.com. Here's what the Stranger Things star had to say about the situation, to the best of his knowledge.
“I don’t think there’ll be much of a light,” Harbour says. “There’s a lot of people who reach out to me who really loved it and really enjoyed the new take, and were just happy to see him back on the screen, but I know in the culture at large, I don’t think it was very well received.”
Indeed, any movie is sure to have its defenders. That said, there doesn't appear to be all that many of them on the side of Hellboy. The reboot of the comic book franchise, which took the R-rated approach, attempting to recreate the success Deadpool enjoyed just a few years ago, was released in April to very poor reviews. As it stands, the movie, directed by Neal Marshall (The Descent), holds just a 17 percent critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is better, but still very poor, sitting at just 58 percent.
But what matters most to the studio, in this case Lionsgate, is how the movie does at the box office. And in that respect is where things get really ugly. Hellboy made just $21 million domestically and a grand total of $40 million worldwide. Even with its relatively small $50 million production budget, that's about as bad as bombs get. While Harbour admits he doesn't keep an eye on the box office totals himself, this is something he's aware of.
“I don’t think it made a lot of money. I don’t really keep up with those things too much to be honest, but I don’t think the perception was that it was a hit, and so in that way, I don’t know that the risk is worth it,” Harbour says. “I think the idea is to move on. The producers spoke to me just saying ‘Great job,’ they really liked what I did, but I haven’t heard anything about a sequel, and I’m not hanging my hat on anything like that.”
Guillermo del Toro, who has since gone on to direct movies like the Best Picture winner The Shape of Water, made a pair of Hellboy movies in the early 2000s. Prior to the reboot, he had been lobbying to get a sequel to 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army made. Unfortunately, his version of Hellboy 3 wasn't something the studio felt would be a prudent investment. So, instead, we got this. And now it's back to the drawing board.
Here's the synopsis for Hellboy.
"Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge."
For his part, David Harbour has moved on already. Not only does he have Stranger Things 3 right around the corner, but he's also got a part in the upcoming Black Widow movie. While it may not be his very own comic book movie franchise, it's a safe bet this one will do a whole lot better than Hellboy did.
Are you one of the quiet defenders of Hellboy 2019? Would you prefer the franchise gets rebooted again elsewhere down the line? Or should Hollywood just leave this one be? Sound off in the comments!