You can probably talk about any subject with actor Ron Perlman, but whatever you do, don't ever broach the fact that he never got to close out his Hellboy trilogy with Guillermo del Toro. During a recent conversation with Collider Live, Perlman revealed that he's still salty over the matter.
"Look man, I did two Hellboy movies, I invested a huge amount in playing the character," he said. "I spent a long, long time really poking and prodding the bear to get the third one made and I felt sure ... I felt like we had owed the fans closure and I just couldn't—there were too many people who were moving in too many other directions, that I just couldn't pull it off. If you ask me about it, it's kind of still an open wound. I wish everybody [on the reboot] well, but I prefer to leave it be."
As a sign of peace, Perlman did attend a "detente" dinner with the new Hellboy, David Harbour, last summer, orchestrated by Perlman's friend, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt. Since then, he said, he's had friendly run-ins with Harbour in coffee shops and bookstores. However, the Stranger Things actor has not yet put in a call to Perlman, asking for advice on how to best play the character.
Perlman also whetted our appetite with a tease of del Toro's ultimate vision for the series. Sadly, that appetite will never be satiated and the Ogdru Jahad will never be freed from their crystalline cosmic prison.
"I did know that Guillermo had an amazing idea of how to close the trilogy and it was theatrically so dynamic and if you were a fan of the first two Hellboys, not only were you gonna have the top of your head blown off by how it resolved, but you were gonna get, finally, the payoff in the investment. It was always designed to be a trilogy and the second movie ends with an ellipsis [Selma Blair's Liz Sherman saying] 'I'm pregnant with twins.' Boom! Roll credits," he added.
Even so, he's happy that he was able to bring the character (created by Mike Mignola) into mainstream pop culture. He recounted that during post-production on The Golden Army, del Toro informed him that readership of the Dark Horse comics had spiked from 600,000 to 1,200,000. This anecdote included a spot-on impersonation of the Oscar-winning filmmaker.
"It was one of the more obscure superheroes, which I think was one of the things that attracted Guillermo to it," he continued. "The purity of it and the non-commerciality of it."