Before the MCU became the de-facto standard for superhero movies in Hollywood, several auteur directors came up with different, standalone franchises based on individual superheroes. One of the most distinctive was Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro's take on Hellboy starring Ron Perlman in the lead role. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Perlman reveals he would still be open to making a third Hellboy movie with del Toro, despite the franchise having been rebooted in 2019 with David Harbour taking over his role as the demonic anti-hero.
"Well, I'm fond of David Harbour. He's a really good guy and he's a really good actor, so I was hoping for the best for him, but I had my Hellboy epoch, era, was what it was. [The reboot] has really nothing to do with [my films]. There was no overlap. They were two completely different entities. So I didn't have an opinion about the new Hellboy or a wish for it to succeed or fail, but I did make it clear that if there was a chance to finish the trilogy with Guillermo, as we had done the first two films and in the image of what he had in mind in terms of closing all of the circles, that is something that I would, to this day, consider doing. But since it [didn't happen], then I had moved on and I didn't have an opinion about any of it. And I'm not being effusive or hyperbolic, that's just the truth of it."
The Hellboy reboot did not meet with good reviews and was a box-office disappointment. The main criticism for the film that was frequently leveled was it failed to match up to del Toro's movies. Harbour himself had claimed in an interview that 2019's Hellboy suffered unfairly due to constant comparisons with what had come before}.
"I think [our Hellboy] failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn't want us to make the movie and for some reason there was like a big... Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then they certainly - the loudness of the internet was like, "We do not want you to touch this." And then we made a movie that I think is fun and I think had its problems but was a fun movie and then people were just very very against it and that's people's right but I learned my lesson in a lot of different way."
While Ron Perlman appears willing to jump back into costume as Hellboy one last time, the final decision rests with del Toro himself, and the filmmaker does not appear to be too optimistic. In a series of Tweets earlier this year, del Toro had declared that the time had passed for making Hellboy 3. The actor recently commented to ComicBook.com.
"What allowed the two [Hellboy] films to exist, it's gone. The Blu-ray DVD performance of the first Hellboy was massive. So big that Ben Feingold, at Columbia, went full-on on the sequel development. Ben was so impressed by those numbers that he made Hellboy one of the very first Blu-rays from Columbia Pictures. Far as I can recall, the number for home video surpassed theatrical."