Yesterday, we reported that Milla Jovovich was in final talks to play The Blood Queen in Lionsgate's Hellboy reboot, which makes sense since the project was reportedly being called Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. While the casting news was apparently accurate, news of the subtitle was not, since a Lionsgate rep reached out to us this afternoon, confirming the project will only be known as Hellboy. Here's what the rep had to say in a brief statement.
"The official title is just Hellboy. The film is considered a reboot of the 2004 Hellboy, and is going by the same name."
The Lionsgate rep didn't add any additional details about the project, and while the title may not be Rise of the Blood Queen, that certainly doesn't nullify Milla Jovovich's casting as this character. What is less clear at this point is if The Blood Queen is the same character from the Mike Mingola comic books known as the Queen of Blood, a.k.a. Nimue, who was brought to life to bring Hellboy to his nemesis Gruagach. However, Hellboy resurrects an army of the dead and defeats her, but she ends up getting the last laugh, dragging him down to hell with her. Since no concrete plot details have been released yet, it's possible that this could be the Queen of Blood, or a completely different character created for this movie.
There was a report last month that this Hellboy reboot was almost going to continue Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy universe, but that didn't happen. Hellboy comic book creator Mike Mingola revealed in a social media post that he started working with screenwriter Andrew Crosby three years ago on a new story, and Guillermo del Toro wanted nothing to do with the project, and Ron Perlman in turn followed suite. With a new story in place, and a new director in Neil Marshall, they decided to forge ahead with a reboot, instead of a continuation of the first two movies, 2004's Hellboy and 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
It has also been confirmed that this Hellboy reboot will in fact be R-rated, with writer Andrew Crosby teasing that this story is a much more dark and gruesome version of Hellboy than fans have seen in the earlier movies. Still, since the first two movies were no box office blockbusters by any means, it's certainly an interesting strategy, but one that could pay off big, especially given the recent success of R-rated movies like Deadpool, Logan and Get Out. Of course, since there is virtually nothing we know about this story at the moment, it's impossible to tell now if this R-rated gamble will pay off when Hellboy hits theaters. With production reportedly starting next month, we could find out much more about this project.
David Harbour will step into the Hellboy shoes previously occupied by Ron Perlman, with both actors recently meeting for a special dinner in New York City, organized by Patton Oswalt, with photos from the dinner going viral. It was also recently confirmed that Ian McShane will take on the role of Professor Broom, played by John Hurt in the first two movies. It isn't known at this time if characters like Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) from the first two movies will be involved in this reboot, or who will be playing them.