Ron Perlman is a man born to act through prosthetics. In point of fact, he's been doing so for years, donning make-up in projects ranging from 1987's Beauty and the Beast TV series to 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau, to say nothing of his debut role in 1981's Paleolithic drama Quest for Fire. But it's his work in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of Mike Mignola's celebrated comic books - that perhaps best establish Perlman's reputation with make-up and costuming.
So it's a shame that box office records weren't kinder to Perlman's interpretation on the world's greatest paranormal investigator. Both Hellboy pictures drew favorable reactions not just from fans, but from critics, and yet neither managed to break even in domestic ticket sales (though the second did turn out a tidy profit thanks to international grosses). And thus audiences were denied the pleasures of a closing chapter to the saga of Big Red's fight against his own destiny, though there's certainly been enough talk about the possibilities of Hellboy 3 between now and 2008.
But nobody with the necessary production powers has pulled the trigger on a third film yet, despite the fact that just about everyone involved seems to want to see the damn thing get made anyways - including Perlman. Speaking in a recent interview with CBM, Perlman took a minute or so to express his sentiment on Hellboy 3, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, he's pretty gung-ho about seeing that film come together. He's so gung-ho about it that he's actively campaigning for a green light, it seems, based entirely on the strength of the resolution del Toro has in mind for the series.
Here's the full quote from the CBM piece:
I’d like to finish it. I’d like for there to be a third film because the first two films were set up for this huge resolve and he already understands what that resolve will look like. He never gave me the nuts and bolts of it, but he gave me a rather broad strokes sketch of what the third film would look like and it’s so epic and so deserved by the fans that hung in there for the first two that I really feel as though it’s essential that we make it. So I fight for it every day. Sometimes I’m the only voice and sometimes there are others, but I’m never going to stop trying to get Hellboy 3 made.
"He", of course, refers to del Toro himself, a man whose imagination never sleeps and who constantly associates himself to projects that either never get off the ground (At the Mountains of Madness), or which he's forced to abandon to accommodate his positively jammed schedule (Beauty). Considering what Mignola has achieved on the page, and what del Toro has achieved on the screen, for Hellboy, it's hard not to imagine just how insane Hellboy 3 might be should it ever come to fruition, so it's no wonder Perlman is advocating for the movie so strongly.
It's worth noting that he's been down this road before; in truth, all that he's saying today is just an echo of what he's said before, except that we're three years beyond his original remarks on the subject. That means Perlman hasn't let go of Hellboy 3 for quite some time, which is encouraging - and, perhaps, timely, given that both he and del Toro were pseudo-negotiating with Legendary CEO Thomas Tull through the press about a year ago regarding Hellboy 3's viability (following Legendary's split from Warner Bros.).
Maybe the joint efforts of both actor and director won't pay off in the end, and maybe we'll never see Hellboy 3; they might want to shoot the film together, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. Either way, though, seeing Perlman so staunchly behind a capstone entry in the alt-comic book franchise is heartening.
We’ll keep you updated on Hellboy 3 developments as they become available.