Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro's comic book film adaptations Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army - starring Ron Perlman as the eponymous, wise-cracking, devil-horned hero who protects the world from dark supernatural forces - were both moderate commercial successes. It's for that reason that fans of the franchise still have fair reason to believe that Hellboy 3 will be made... eventually.
Perlman has frequently been asked about the prospective third Hellboy movie, even when he's working the press circuit to promote his new projects that are actually in active development (like the upcoming Amazon series Hand of God). The Sons of Anarchy alum has now clarified that as much as he keeps on talking about Hellboy 3 (of his own free will), he feels the film is something he should do for the series' fans - not, per se, something that he's personally invested in making.
Here is what Perlman offered on the subject of Hellboy 3, while he was promoting Hand of God during the 2015 Television Critics Association press tour (hat tip /Film):
“Let me make the record clear. I don’t want to do Hellboy 3. It’s a pain in the ass to put that makeup on and take it off. But I feel we’re obligated to finish the story. That’s it. End of conversation.”
Perlman's latest comments aren't really that far from the sentiments that he's expressed about a third Hellboy movie in the past, having long described the project as something that he, del Toro, and their collaborators owe to the fans. The Golden Army, as mentioned before, was a "bubble" film that grossed enough to turn a profit ($160 million worldwide on an $85 million budget, not counting the marketing costs), but not quite enough to immediately get a followup green-lit; hence, Perlman says he's willing to keep talking about Hellboy 3 until the green light is finally granted.
“I got no problems with forcing the conversation, as you can tell. We’re in the business of moving mountains. Those of us who are used to working in mainstream film and television. Don’t come to me with details and problems. Just tell me how we move the mountain.”
The budget necessary to realize del Toro's vision for Hellboy 3 is the biggest obstacle preventing the project from moving forward, as del Toro has noted before. Perlman's age is something of an issue too, though the 65-year old actor has jokingly (?) said that so long as he's still breathing, he's game to play Big Red one last time:
“Because del Toro says: Put the makeup on, you can shoot me in a wheelchair and I’ll still be Hellboy. I guess the only cutoff point is when they actually close the box. If you don’t see me get up and go, ‘Hang on, I was kidding,’ then I’m still ready.”
So, what are the odds that Hellboy 3 goes from being something that Perlman and/or del Toro only talk about, to something tangible in the foreseeable future? Well, del Toro has established a strong working relationship with Legendary Pictures in recent years, so if both of his upcoming projects with the studio - specifically, the Gothic horror/romance Crimson Peak (opening in theaters in October 2015) and then the blockbuster sequel Pacific Rim 2 (arriving in 2017) - then it will improve the odds of Legendary and Universal at least considering making Hellboy 3.
That still means any official announcement on the matter of Hellboy 3 could be years away, even in the best case scenario. If the outlook doesn't improve before then, though, it seems as though Perlman's nonetheless ready to keep talking about the film so long as reporters (and/or fans) are willing to ask him about it.
Meanwhile, we'll continue to bring you more information on Hellboy 3 as it becomes available.
Source: Ron Perlman [via /Film]