Universal once had a Hellboy spinoff in development that centered on Abe Sapien and the B.R.P.D. Earlier this week, creator Mike Mignola announced plans to develop an R-rated reboot of the Hellboy franchise, directed by Neil Marshall and based on a script by himself, Andrew Cosby, and Christopher Golden. Tentatively titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, the film will be “darker” and “more gruesome” than Guillermo del Toro’s movies and will border on horror. While that sounds great for fans of the comics, it also means we won’t be getting Universal’s Hellboy spinoff.
The studio contacted Hellboy screenwriter Peter Briggs in 2010 to pen a spinoff film. Briggs and his writing partner, Aaron Mason, conceived a film that would follow Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) and the B.R.P.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense), with the intention of having Hellboy (Ron Perlman) appear in a small, yet prominent role. Briggs says that thanks to the new reboot, though, his film is no longer happening.
After being inundated with questions about the reboot (which he is not involved with), Briggs gave a detailed description of his spinoff film, titled Silverlance: From the Files of the B.R.P.D., on Facebook earlier this week:
The story had a sort of Highlander structure to it. Moving into their new Bureau For Paranormal Research And Defense headquarters in Colorado, Abe is troubled still by his psychic connection with Princess Nuala from Hellboy 2, so [he] researches the history of Nuala and Nuada. We would have seen Nuada’s connection to a rival fairy courtier who seeks control of the fairy kingdom (and Nuala’s hand in marriage), and engineers the machinations that cause Prince Nuada’s expulsion.
We’d have seen Nuada in different timezones down the centuries, including his first meeting with Mister Wink in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition (Nuada saves Wink from a troupe of soldiers); and Nuada in Nazi Germany in World War 2 engineering a pact to keep various supernatural entities unharmed from the conflict. (We would have seen Nuada and Kroenen fighting in a “friendly” bout for a bunch of Project Ragnarok goons.)
Briggs likened their idea to Suicide Squad, emphasizing the fact that Batman appeared in David Ayer’s DC film, although he wasn’t essential to the story. In the same vein, Briggs wanted to include Hellboy without having him be the focus of the story. Unfortunately though, once Hellboy 3 looked like it was out of the question, they were forced to drop Brother Red from the script altogether. However, Briggs said they managed to squeeze in a cameo at one point in the story.
After spending a year working on the project with Mason and producer Lawrence Gordon, Briggs assumed the spinoff was finally scrapped in early 2016. But, by the end of the year, things were moving forward again. “I kept in touch with Universal periodically into 2017,” Briggs said. “With the announcement of the Neil Marshall Hellboy reboot project [on Monday], I think it’s safe to say Silverlance is now officially dead.” While neither Silverlance nor Hellboy 3 will see the light of day, Briggs says he’s curious to see how the reboot turns out – and so are we.
Source: Peter Briggs