In the world of TV and film, there are two definitive trends that seem to be dictating the way new pieces are produced: comic book adaptations and nostalgia-driven reboots. And in the case of the Hellboy property, they're killing two birds with one stone as Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen will kickstart a new franchise for the comic book antihero. The new franchise will star Stranger Things actor David Harbour as the title character, and he's recently revealed his plans to change the character from Ron Perlman's iconic performances. Harbour plans to really examine Hellboy's psyche, particularly his somewhat toxic masculinity. He said,
I think Hellboy has a certain psycho dynamic, where occasionally he has to prove that he's the lion, has to roar, and I think he struggles with his own masculinity. But I don't think he needs that as much as maybe those other movies. I have a bit of a different take on his capability or his slickness. I sort of think that for me he's a little less skilled at constructing that persona.
David Harbour comments to the Happy Sad Confused Podcast (via JoBlo) are pretty fascinating. Although Hellboy has always been a flawed (and therefore relatable) comic book character, it's interesting to see how David Harbour will explore the character's trademark attitude and alpha personality. While Ron Perlman was the a great Hellboy, it certainly seems like the characterization will be different in Rise of the Blood Queen.
All things considered, it's probably for the best that the new Hellboy franchise will be unique to the previous two entries. Hellboy II: The Golden Army arrived back in 2008, so it it's been under a decade since audiences saw the big red guy on the silver screen. The comparisons between the two franchises will no doubt be constant, so having vastly different characterizations for the cast will allow the audience to more properly focus on the new version of these heroes and villains.
It should be interesting to see how other characters are changed up when Rise of the Blood Queen arrives in theaters. The film is already shooting for an R rating, which will no doubt bring a more foul mouthed and violent versions of the cast that the previous two films. So far the role of Trevor Bruttenholm has been recast with Ian McShane, but the majority of the iconic characters that team up with Hellboy are still not confirmed for the new franchise. Hopefully the actors will craft similarly distinctive adaptations of roles played by the likes of Selma Blair and Doug Jones.