Actor Doug Jones was offered a cameo appearance in Neil Marshall's new Hellboy reboot movie, but turned it down. The actor previously played the Abe Sapien in Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Additionally, he provided the voice for the character in two straight-to-video animated films set between the live-action films from 2005 to 2008.
The fictional character played by Doug Jones, Abe Sapien was first introduced in 1994's Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by series creator Mike Mignola. Born Langdon Everett Caul, his name became a combination of the species "Ichthyo sapien" and Abraham Lincoln. Sapien has been the subject of his own comics, but is best known as a core member of Hellboy and B.R.R.D. He is sometimes referred to as an "amphibious man," which amusingly draws a connection to another del Toro film in which Jones starred, The Shape of Water. When it came to whether or not Jones would appear in the forthcoming reboot of the film, it looks like there were talks, but little more.
In an interview with THR, Jones confirmed he was just too busy with other projects to take on a smaller role or cameo in Lionsgate's relaunch of the Hellboy franchise. He didn't specify whether he was offered a cameo as Abe Sapien or another character, but he did explain his reason to pass on the film. He said:
"Reboot means recasting, and I'm told this first reboot does not have anybody in it from the original film. I received an offer to do a cameo, but I was deeply immersed in Star Trek: Discovery when that offer came in, so I couldn't do it."
In an interview with Screen Rant, Jones even offered a few words of advice to any actor who might take on the mantle of the amphibious man in future Hellboy sequels - though it was already confirmed that Abe Sapien would not officially appear in the reboot. He said, "Patience with the make-up, but otherwise make the character your own." Turns out that those sound words might have to be reserved for some other Hellboy movie down the line. Although he may not be appearing in Neil Marshall's Hellboy reboot, fans can still check out Doug Jones in Star Trek: Discovery, which is currently airing Thursday nights on CBS All Access.
Jones has brought his unique physique to animate some wonderful and strange creatures in film and TV, representing a gold standard for creating characters that could easily have come across inhuman without his unique touch. Whether it be his noble Starfleet officer Saru in Star Trek: Discovery or the Amphibian Man in The Shape of Water, Jones will continue to bring his incredible physical presence (and acting chops) to a myriad of other, more satisfying roles for years to come - just not Hellboy for the time being.
- Hellboy (2019) release date: Apr 12, 2019