[UPDATE: Mignola has expanded on his prior statement.]
Fans of Hellboy, the world's greatest paranormal investigator, are in for a disappointment: despite encouraging talk over the last few years from wunderkind director Guillermo del Toro, as well as frequent collaborators Ron Perlman and Doug Jones, there's not going to be a third entry in del Toro's film series based on the cigar-smoking red demon's exploits.
Surprisingly, the news comes not from del Toro but from artist Mike Mignola, who created the character in 1993 and shares a co-executive producer credit on both films.
Speaking in a recent interview with Comic Book Resources about the next phase in Hellboy's adventures on the page, Mignola openly said that another installment in the film series simply isn't going to happen. In a direct quote from the interview, he had the following to say:
The biggest problem I see as far as PR for the next billion years is explaining endlessly not only that there's no 'Hellboy 3' movie, but it's going to be explaining 'It's a series, but it's not a monthly series.'
Should Mignola's declaration be taken as the final word on the matter? Given his authorship of the story and how closely he worked with del Toro on 2004's Hellboy and 2008's Hellboy 2, Mignola's statement is certainly less than encouraging, but nevertheless it's probably wise to take his claim about the current status of the project seriously. That's not to say that things couldn't change if, say, del Toro's Pacific Rim ends up being a big hit at the box office. Money does talk, after all, and in the past del Toro has pegged financing as the most significant obstacle for Hellboy 3 to overcome.
But this isn't the first time Mignola has displayed doubts over the production, either. Two years ago, he commented on how much his planned ending for the Hellboy comics clashes with del Toro's screen vision and interpretation of the character. There's no denying the differences, both vast and minor, between the respective properties, and taking note of the climax built to in The Storm and the Fury, the last trade paperback in Hellboy's print run, maybe Mignola's right to be concerned.
Either way, the comment comes as a letdown after five years of anticipation. It's worth noting that del Toro historically keeps his plate as full as humanly possible - Pacific Rim comes out this July, and he's following that up with Crimson Peak next year, a potential Hulk TV show (thought don't hold your breath), a stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio, and maybe even a Marvel studio film - which means that even if Hellboy 3 had gone ahead (or if it ends up going ahead some years in the future), del Toro may have found himself scrambling to sort out his own schedule just to get it into production to begin with.
What do you think, Screen Ranters? Are you bummed to hear that Hellboy 3 is off the table? Or do you prefer the comic book version, and would you rather see del Toro work on more original films?
UPDATE: Courtesy of his Facebook page, Mignola had the following to say about Hellboy 3:
About a third Hellboy film--
There are a couple articles out floating around out there right now that sort of make it sound like I don't want a third movie made or even implying that somehow I might in some way stopping a third one from being made--That's just stupid. I have no idea why these things are popping up now. I'm asked all the time if a third film is in the works and I always say there isn't--Because there isn't. Simple as that. Of course I would be thrilled to see a third one made. I know Ron would like to do it and I think if ANYONE could talk Universal into it it would be del Toro. After #2 someone at the studio assured me that they would NEVER make a third and that was the last contact I had with anyone at Universal. That was a long time ago and things change and I do hope things will change, but who knows. Certainly it all has nothing to do with me. The fate of a third film is entirely somewhere between del Toro and Universal.
Source: Comic Book Resources