Guillermo del Toro’s passion for the Hellboy universe is well known. He’s so passionate about it he got two amazing Hellboy movies made, almost by sheer force of will alone. Audiences never really flocked to them the way they should have, but Del Toro made them, and made them great anyway. So it’s no surprise that he recently told MTV he’d love to do Hellboy III, but even he has his limits and it’s probably safe to assume it’ll never happen.
The thing is, people just won’t see them. Hellboy II wasn’t a Scott Pilgrim sized flop by any means, but both Hellboy movies just barely managed to earn back their budgets using international markets as a crutch. After two barely profitable movies he’s going to have a harder time than ever getting funding for a third one, and even if he could get it, the place Del Toro wants to take the character for the third movie is probably a place he’ll never be allowed to go.
Del Toro explains, “the heartbreak for me is that I know how it ends and I don't know if I want to see that ending.” Obviously he’s talking about killing off the character. But Hellboy creator Mike Mignola isn’t exactly on board with the idea. He says, “And here’s where we have the big conflict. My version of Hellboy in the comics is a finite story, but it’s going to take me 15 years to get to the ending. If he makes ‘Hellboy III’ and it’s the death of Hellboy, I’m left doing the comic going, ‘But I’m not done yet.’” That makes a lot of sense.
Even if Mignola and Del Toro could sync up and even if Del Toro managed to get the money, there’s still Ron Perlman who maybe doesn’t want to get back under all that makeup. Guillermo says of Perlman, “he's doing 'Sons of Anarchy' without makeup. He's spoiled! He likes to be the big cheese without the makeup session.”
Short version: No Hellboy III. No big deal. After his abrupt departure from The Hobbit, Guillermo del Toro fans are getting used to disappointment.
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