Despite the ongoing wave of wildly lucrative comic book adaptations, not all of them set the box office on fire in the way the production companies involved need in order to justify another entry. Welcome back to the saga of the long-unmade Hellboy 3, which would cap the series of films from Crimson Peak helmer Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Perlman… if only they could get it funded.

Del Toro and Perlman have been vocal about wanting to complete their trilogy; Perlman believes the longtime fans are owed a finale, but that the audience shouldn’t have to foot the bill. There were reports of “talks” with the studio, but that was some time ago. All we know of Hellboy 3 at this point is that Guillermo del Toro definitely has a story, and that no one is greenlighting the thing any time soon.

Hellboy 3 has come up yet again, as Guillermo del Toro showed up at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con to promote his Gothic horror movie Crimson Peak, and naturally had a lot to say about the as-yet-thwarted finale entry in the Hellboy series. According to The Daily Beast (via Cinema Blend), the budgetary needs are the main sticking point, saying:

“The hard fact is that the movie’s going to need about $120 million and there’s nobody knocking down our doors to give it to us. It’s a little beyond Kickstarter. It would be great to complete the trilogy, but in a way I don’t see the world – the industry – supporting that idea.”

Del Toro stated that there is one way to find the funding for Hellboy 3, and it’s fairly obvious: his big-budget sequel Pacific Rim 2 – set to for release in late 2017 – needs to be a hit. That sequel apparently put del Toro in a difficult position, as he was forced to choose between that and another project he had been attached to for a long time: the Warner Bros./DC adaptation Justice League Dark, which he left as director.

According to del Toro:

“Warners liked the script, they were very enthusiastic and wanted to green-light it but they wanted it to coincide with the shoot of Pacific Rim 2. I was put in a very difficult place facing a difficult choice, and I chose to do ‘Pacific Rim 2.’ “

Mech vs Kaiju in Pacific Rim Guillermo del Toro: Hellboy 3 Could Be Made   If Pacific Rim 2 Is a Success

From a financial standpoint, choosing Pacific Rim 2 appears to be the prudent move. If del Toro’s more niche projects – like Hellboy 3 – are going to see the light of day, he needs a solid hit, and that may not come with this October’s Crimson Peak. In order to keep the lush, throwback horror film’s R-rating, del Toro “gave up about 30 percent of my salary and my entire back-end,” a choice which speaks to the director’s need to stay true to his artistic vision… even if the numbers aren’t in his favor.

2013’s Pacific Rim made over $411 million worldwide on a production budget of $190 million – taking marketing costs into account, the profit margin on the film may have been far slimmer than expected. Still, given the fact that 75% of the total box office take came from overseas, the Pacific Rim franchise has larger potential audience than before. So cross your fingers, Hellboy fans, and we could see Red and Liz one more time after all.

Stay tuned for more information on Hellboy 3 as it becomes available.

Source: The Daily Beast

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