Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim marks his fifth time working alongside the 60-year old fan-favorite actor Ron Perlman, after Cronos, Blade II, and the first two Hellboy movies. Both gentlemen were in attendance at the Comic-Con 2012 Pacific Rim panel, in order to promote that ambitious undertaking.
The pair have had little time to spare since Hellboy II, between Perlman's TV work (Sons of Anarchy, 1000 Ways to Die) and del Toro's multiple projects - coupled with the two years he spent developing The Hobbit. It was of little surprise, then, when reporters took advantage of the pair being together for Comic-Con to inquire about the prospective Hellboy 3.
“I can say publicly that now [Ron Perlman and I] are together in trying [to make 'Hellboy 3'],” del Toro informed EW, during an interview conducted amidst the Con festivities. Perlman had long been open about his desire to work on a Hellboy trilogy finale with del Toro, but the latter previously expressed reservations:
“I would love to [make a third 'Hellboy'], but the heartbreak for me is that I know how it ends and I don’t know if I want to see that ending. But I would love to do it.”
Hellboy comic book creator Mike Mignola has likewise expressed concern about del Toro's planned conclusion to the titular devilish hero's journey - as the writer/artist didn't anticipate reaching his own ending to the story (in graphic novel form) for possibly another 15 years, when asked a couple years back. However, in light of recent developments in the Hellboy comics, Mignola might feel differently now.
Perlman, for his part, reiterated his feeling that it'd be a shame for del Toro not to carry through with his own idea about Hellboy's final destination (and how it affects the future of humanity):
“The [first] two movies were really set up to have this unbelievable resolve. Everything that was done in both movies was leading up to this destiny, written in stone, of what Hellboy has been summoned to Earth to do. To not do it, particularly in light of the scope that Guillermo is thinking of for the resolve, would be in my mind a little bit of a shame.”
It stands to reason that del Toro may be less intimidated by said scope of Hellboy 3, in the aftermath of his efforts on Pacific Rim. The latter project weaves together a dense mythology with a simplistic good vs. evil scenario that requires daunting production values, in order to be properly realized on the silver screen (much like a third Hellboy movie could).
“I’ve encountered a lot of kids who are fans of the movies,” del Toro said, going on to express his admiration for Perlman appearing in character as Hellboy for a six-year old fan (who's in the midst of a battle with leukemia). It's for reasons like that del Toro insists “We’re going to make an effort" to see the big red guy off into the sunset.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army was not an especially lucrative investment - meaning there isn't a lot of pressure from Universal for a third installment (the second one grossed $160 million worldwide on an $85 million budget). However, the sequel was warmly received by many a casual moviegoer and critic alike - so, rest assured, there's an audience for the threequel.
One major obstacle to Hellboy 3 right now is del Toro's upcoming workslate, which includes a 3D stop-motion version of Pinocchio and a Beauty and the Beast retelling. That might not matter, though, as the filmmaker seemingly prefers to have multiple dishes cooking in the oven at once.
Screen Rant will be sure to keep you updated on Hellboy 3 as the story develops.