Written by Brian Flinchbaugh
We recently saw the first images of David Harbour as Hellboy and the reaction is simply, “Whoa. Wait, that’s not Ron Perlman?”
The Stranger Things star looks like an absolute dead ringer for Perlman’s version of the titular Dark Hose Comics’ character.
Hellboy, created by Mike Mignola, has been seen on screen before. 2004’s Hellboy and 2008’s Hellboy 2: The Golden Army were pretty decent movies, but they both suffered from one fatal flaw; they were PG-13. At that time, so was every other comic book superhero movie. An ‘R’ rating for a superhero flick? Never.
Then Deadpool came along.
By becoming the first R-rated superhero film, Deadpool changed the genre forever. Now, so many more possibilities opened up. It didn’t take long for Logan to follow in its footsteps.
And now Hellboy comes roaring back around. The ability to make an R-rated Hellboy film exponentially changes the probability of success.
While we can only dream of what Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman could have done with the creative freedom of today, current director Neil Marshall and star David Harbour should nail it.
Hellboy won’t compete for the same box office numbers as Marvel and DC; he’s a character with a very large cult following from an indie comic book publisher. It’s got a built-in disadvantage. But it also doesn’t have to. Its budget is nowhere near what the two behemoth studios spend on their worst days.
Hellboy will make money. But more importantly, it will get the character right. And I have no doubt it will be better than its predecessors.