Looks like Hellboy may have a new Hollywood home shortly.
After 2004's Hellboy went through Sony, and a second movie, 2008's Hellboy: The Golden Army, was released via Universal, The Wrap reports that the upcoming reboot may land at Lionsgate. Talks are in progress now with the mini-major studio to bring the project there, with the negotiations said to be "advanced."
Of course, neither the original Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, nor the director of the first two movies, Guillermo del Toro, is involved with this film, which is tentatively titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. The role of the evil-fighting demon has been taken over by David Harbour of Stranger Things fame, while The Descent and Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall is setting up shop behind the camera.
What does this all mean? For one thing, Lionsgate is probably hoping that the new Hellboy movie is successful enough to give the company a shiny new franchise. With Twilight and The Hunger Games long in the rearview mirror, and both Divergent and Power Rangers ending up as failures in that regard, Lionsgate would like to have a new cash cow it can count on every couple of years.
The problem is that the previous Hellboy movies were only modest successes, and by making this one R-rated and changing both the star and the director, the franchise and the studio will be essentially starting from scratch. That also means working with a much smaller budget than before, an issue that del Toro and Perlman had balked at when trying to get their own third Hellboy movie off the ground.
Having said all that, we love Hellboy as much as anyone else and would enjoy seeing the character succeed on the big screen again. Harbour and Marshall are solid choices for their respective roles, and with any luck they'll not only please diehard fans of Big Red but open him up to a whole new audience as well.
Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is slated to begin production this fall.