Hellboy creator Mike Mignola hopes that the upcoming reboot spawns a cinematic universe. After years of campaigning, Guillermo del Toro confirmed earlier this year that Hellboy III simply wasn't going to happen. Instead, Millennium Films has decided to push forward with an R-rated reboot. The upcoming Hellboy reboot (no longer subtitled Rise of the Blood Queen) is being directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent), with Stranger Things star David Harbour taking over for Ron Perlman as the eponymous character.
The Hellboy reboot, which is being written by Andrew Cosby and Christopher Golden, aims to take the comic book series in a different direction than del Toro had done, hence the planned R-rating versus continuing with the previous PG-13 rating. Cosby has previously said that they will be utilizing the rating, as well as the reboot as a whole, to incorporate much darker and more gruesome themes than del Toro's movies - Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army - had, whereas Mignola hopes to use the reboot to create a shared universe.
In an interview with The Verge, Mignola discussed the Hellboy comics as well as the upcoming R-rated reboot, which he says will be a loose adaptation of one of his graphic novels. Furthermore, he said he hopes to introduce various elements from the comics into the movie so that it could potentially launch its own cinematic universe.
"Yeah. It’s a very loose adaptation of one of the Hellboy graphic novels. When you have more books out there, you have a lot more to sift through. You can look around at how big the world is, and borrow pieces from here and there. You want to sell a larger world, but you have to pick and choose what goes in there. The challenge for us has been to not lose sight of the specific story, but suggest the elements of a larger story. My hope is that this introduces a lot of stuff that then expands into a Hellboy Cinematic Universe."
Along with superhero movies, cinematic universes are all the rage in Hollywood these days. Film studios have always produced sequels to their movies, and have even had spin-offs and prequels, but establishing an interconnected universe of films filled with characters and storylines that eventually intersect is something that Marvel Studios popularized with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008. Ever since then, virtually every major movie studio has tried to get their hands on their own shared universe: Warner Bros. with the DC Extended Universe, Universal with the Dark Universe, and Paramount with the Transformers Cinematic Universe.
Given that Hellboy already has an expansive universe set up in the comics, it wouldn't be too difficult to expand the reboot into more films, but doing so would require the movie to perform well enough at the box office to justify continuing the franchise. We'll just have to wait and see if that happens.
Source: The Verge