We’ve had mixed feelings about the upcoming Hellboy reboot for a while now. On one hand Guillermo Del Toro put his heart and soul into the franchise, and continuing the saga without him feels like a betrayal. On the other, Mike Mignola’s source material is fantastic and leaves the door open for a much darker re-interpretation, which new director Neil Marshal seems ideally placed to provide. The project is already under a cloud following the acrimonious split between Lionsgate and Del toro, and the accusations of whitewashing that lead Ed Skrein to abandon his role. Today saw a release date announced, but it’s only made us more uncertain about the film’s future.
Hellboy will return, according to Lionsgate, on January 11th 2019.
It’s not a date that instils much confidence. January, in Hollywood’s eyes, is a barren wasteland in which weak films are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. If Lionsgate and Millennium have chosen a January release for Hellboy, then this could be an early indication that they lack faith in the project.
The reboot is being helmed by Neil Marshal, and stars Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Hellboy. The rest of the cast includes Milla Jovovich as the villainous Blood Queen; Ian McShane (hoorah!) as Professor Broom; Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio, an officer at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense; and American Honey’s Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan.
It’s an intriguing mix of talent, and we’re open to a new take on the Hellboy universe, but Marshal’s version will have much to overcome if it is to win over a hostile or hesitant fanbase. Let’s hope some good news from the team can help to dispel any audience concerns soon.