A couple months back, Guillermo Del Toro confirmed what many fans had long suspected: Hellboy 3 was officially not happening, and would probably never happen.
Unsurprising as it was to many, it was still a sad confirmation, knowing neither Del Toro or his star Ron Perlman would get to revisit the world they realized so well in 2004’s Hellboy and 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
That said, the actual Hellboy franchise wouldn’t stay dead for long, as original creator Mike Mignola subsequently announced that a new Hellboy film was in the works, although one not directly tied to Del Toro’s efforts.
Entitled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, this new Hellboy feature will be directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), and star a rather inspired choice as “Big Red”: Stranger Things star David Harbour.
While Harbour has been plying his trade in Hollywood for well over a decade now – appearing in things like HBO drama The Newsroom and DC blockbuster Suicide Squad – it wasn’t until playing Hawkins’ gruff but dogged Sheriff Jim Hopper that he really broke through and became a household name.
Recently, Harbour spoke to The Wrap about what his outing as Hellboy has in store for fans. Here’s some of what he had to say, including revealing that the film will begin production this fall.
“We’re supposed to go in September, I hope. It’s good. It’s a whole new thing. I’d always been a fan of the comics and there’s a darker tone to it and I think in the climate we have now there’s kind of a darker… a desire for more of that… the script is good and this guy Neil Marshall is directing who’s really good and the aesthetic is great.”
“It’s a character that I love, and sort of in the way, I think Mike [Mignola] and a bunch of other people saw me in ‘Stranger Things’ and wanted me to play Hellboy and I think he has some parallels to him. I think he’s another complicated anti-hero who is not strictly good or bad; he’s just trying to do the right thing. I think he’s a demon, he’s crazy, and he’s also sweet and vulnerable and neurotic so there’s a lot of complexity there.”
While it’s obviously unclear at this early stage just how exactly Rise of the Blood Queen will be darker than previous Hellboy films, it’ll be interesting to see just how far Marshall and crew go in that direction. Going too dark could risk alienating long-time fans of the titular character, who has often been renowned for his deadpan sense of snarky humor.
Still, a superhero who happens to be a literal demon certainly holds a lot of potential for upping the horror factor of the whole thing, and could serve to creatively set apart this new Hellboy project from those of Del Toro. Considering just how many people are still upset that Del Toro didn’t get to make a third, a starker division might prove to be a good thing.
Of course, long before fans get to witness David Harbour don Hellboy’s make-up and giant red hand, he’ll be back for more Stranger Things in season 2 of the Netflix hit series. In case you’ve forgotten, that debuts this Halloween. Yep, Harbour’s career is kind of blowing up right now.