We know Guillermo del Toro today as a wildly imaginative filmmaker, whose films blend a sense of the fantastic with a deep streak of the macabre, all while inspiring wonder with their unique, spectacular visuals. Now a fan-favorite, some of his recent films, like the kaiju movie Pacific Rim and the grotesque fairy tale Pan's Labyrinth, contain some of the most arresting cinematic imagery in recent memory.
A decade ago, the Mexican filmmaker's earlier horror films - like Cronos and The Devil's Backbone - placed him on Hollywood's radar, leading to the Mira Sorvino horror movie Mimic, Marvel comic book sequel Blade II and 2004's Hellboy. Del Toro accomplished what seemed like a minor miracle: adapting writer-artist Mike Mignola's oddball, mythologically rich comic book into an entertaining (if somewhat flawed) popcorn movie, which has since spawned a cult following.
Del Toro's follow-up, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, had a bigger budget and equally impressive visuals, including the striking Troll Market sequence. As for, Hellboy 3, it's up there with Deadpool as a promising project fans shouldn't hold their breath to see. Star Ron Perlman has maintained his interest in concluding Big Red's story, as has the character's creator. And no one wants to do it more than del Toro himself.
In a recent Reddit AMA, del Toro talked about a wide range of interests and topics, from the visual aesthetic he is proud of developing for Pacific Rim and his upcoming Crimson Peak to his praise of the updated Godzilla and his enthusiasm for director Gareth Edwards' forthcoming Star Wars spinoff film to his devotion to Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos.
The subject turned, inevitably, to Hellboy 3. When asked about the film's status, del Toro responded:
Well, you know, we don't have that movie on the horizon, but the idea for it was to have Hellboy finally come to terms with the fact that his destiny, his inevitable destiny, is to become the beast of the Apocalypse, and having him and Liz face the sort of, that part of his nature, and he has to do it, in order to be able to ironically vanquish the foe that he has to face in the 3rd film. He has to become the best of the Apocalypse to be able to defend humanity, but at the same time he becomes a much darker being. It's a very interesting ending to the series, but I don't think it will happen.
Given del Toro's level of commitment to his projects - despite the fact that some never make it to production - it's not surprising to learn how much planning has gone into Hellboy 3. When asked why the studios don't seem interested in a third entry in the series, del Toro said the following:
It is a question that I myself ask of the world many times, but we have gone through basically every studio and asked for financing, and they are not interested. I think that the first movie made its budget back, and a little bit of profit, but then it was very very big on video and DVD. The story repeated itself with the second already, it made its money back at the box office, but a small margin of profit in the release of the theatrical print, but was very very big on DVD and video. Sadly now from a business point of view all the studios know is that you don't have that safety net of the DVD and video, so they view the project as dangerous.
Creatively, I would love to make it. Creatively. But it is proven almost impossible to finance. Not from MY side, but from the studio side. If I was a multimillionaire, I would finance it myself, but I spend all my money on rubber monsters.
The first two Hellboy movies were well-received by both fans and critics alike, and with del Toro's ever-crowded dance card including executive producing and directing the pilot for FX's The Strain, an animated series lead-in to 2017's Pacific Rim 2, and Crimson Peak, will enough fan support be able to swing the studios around to considering Hellboy 3? If so, the real question is just where in his schedule will del Toro find the time.
Check out the rest of del Toro's AMA (click here) for some wonderful anecdotes about, among other things, his love for his Pacific Rim actor Charlie Day's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, starting every meal with dessert when eating with Ron Perlman, and his approach to FX work and how the technology is changing.
If del Toro's next few projects prove successful - thereby placing him on the top of the directing ladder - the possibility of Hellboy 3 happening down the line may be more viable than it is now. It's still far on the horizon, that much remains certain.
Hellboy 3 is currently not in any real stage of development.