The Hellboy reboot has received an official R rating for its graphic violence, among other things. Created in 1993, the Hellboy comic book character made the jump to the big screen under Guillermo del Toro's direction in 2004. The Oscar-winning filmmaker later made a sequel (2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army) and had plans to make a trilogy finale for several years after. Sadly, for reasons that include the cost, del Toro's Hellboy 3 was ultimately scrapped in favor of a less expensive reboot. Neil Marshall (The Descent) was brought aboard to direct the new movie, with David Harbour (Stranger Things) taking over as Red from Ron Perlman.
It was announced from the very beginning that the Hellboy reboot would be aiming for an R rating, unlike either of del Toro's adaptations (which were both PG-13). The film's cast and crew have stuck to their idea ever since, with Harbour likening the reboot to R-rated superhero movies like Deadpool and Logan and Marshall describing the project as "more bloody and more violent" than its predecessors. The green-band Hellboy trailer even offered a small taste of the film's mature content, showing Hellboy shooting monsters in the head and calling his co-workers, um, impolite names. Now, however, the R rating is officially official.
The MPAA has announced that Hellboy is rated R "for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language". It wasn't the only film to receive an R rating this week either, with upcoming movies like the Shaft sequel and comic book adaptation The Kitchen also being labeled "for mature audiences only".
Harbour has described Hellboy as "a real monster movie that's dark and scary", so the R rating seems fitting in that regard. At the same time, the Hellboy trailer painted a much different picture of the film by highlighting its comedic moments and setting its footage to the tune of Billy Idol's decidedly un-scary version of "Mony, Mony". That might change with the next trailer though, now that the movie has been formally rated R. Mike Mignola, who created the Hellboy comics, recently teased as much by tweeting that the second trailer is "so much better" than the first one. However, he deleted the tweet shortly afterwards, so make what you will of that.
If nothing else, Hellboy's R rating should further help the film to stand apart from the other comic book adaptations on the horizon. Superhero movies like DC's Shazam! and Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame will arrive in theaters a week before and two weeks after Hellboy, respectively, but Shazam! is already rated PG-13 and Endgame will undoubtedly receive the same rating soon. Another element that sets Hellboy apart from those titles is the horror aspect, which isn't all that common among superhero films in general. R-rated movies are typically less bankable than PG-13 ones but, in Hellboy's case, the rating may only benefit the film's box office.
- Hellboy (2019) release date: Apr 12, 2019