The Hellboy Character Who Almost Got A Spinoff

Hellboy Abe Sapien Profile

Fans were taken aback yesterday when the announcement of a new Hellboy reboot was made, courtesy of the comic's creator, Mike Mignola. And just as we all were wrapping our heads around director Neil Marshall and star David Harbour being the folks to bring an R-rated redux to our eyes, more news caught our ears. Specifically, we've now heard about a spinoff that was originally set-up at Universal, which saw one B.P.R.D. agent acting as a window into a side story that we never thought we'd see. The story was of Princess Nuala and Prince Nuada's adventures through history, and the agent was Abe Sapien.

News of this project came after a story writer on the first Hellboy, Peter Briggs, had been inundated with Facebook messages asking for his thoughts on the new reboot, as well as if he was involved in the relaunch. As it turns out, Briggs isn't involved with this new project, which lead to his revelation that since 2010, he'd been working on a spinoff with Universal entitled Silverlance: From The Files of The B.P.R.D. Originally, Ron Perlman's Hellboy would have been present in the film, but not as the focal point of the action. The center of attention would be Abe, and Briggs described the project thusly:

We reworked and expanded the project out. The story had a sort of "Highlander" structure to it. Moving into their new Bureau For Paranormal Research And Defense headquarters in Colorado, Abe is troubled still by his psychic connection with Princess Nuala from Hellboy II, so researches the history of Nuala and Nuada.

Throughout Silverlance: From The Files of The B.P.R.D., we'd get to see the royal twins seen in Hellboy II: The Golden Army making their way through human history, interacting with figures during the Spanish Inquisition and World War II, as the makers of supernatural history. And, as a bonus, we'd get to see Prince Nuada's exile put into motion, all thanks to a spurned suitor for the hand of Princess Nuala. But, as time went on, the project was put under some interesting restrictions. Namely, Universal didn't want Hellboy to appear in the film anymore, seeing as they decided to pursue producing Hellboy III. As such, the aforementioned reworking and expanding became tasked with removing Hellboy from the proceedings, though Peter Briggs notes on the finale revealed how the project sought to work around that demand. He stated:

The story reached a rousing action climax at the B.P.R.D. Colorado headquarters and used Rasputin's summoning gauntlet from the first movie (and we did manage to sneak Hellboy in for a cameo in one scene!) If it had been successful, it would have been the first in a series of From The Files Of The B.P.R.D. projects.

But alas, as Hellboy is about to receive a fresh coat of paint with a new production team, it looks like Silverlance is officially dead. At most, we can hope that Peter Briggs will shop his Facebook posted treatment around to Dark Horse Comics, in hopes that perhaps this story can be seen through the medium that gave birth to Hellboy, Abe Sapien and the entire B.P.R.D. family. As of this moment, though, this story remains in the same scrap heap as Hellboy III does, awaiting a day that will never come. A moment of silence for two stories that will more than likely never see the light of day, and the potential lost with both opportunities.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.