Don't hold your breath for Hellboy 3. Although Guillermo del Toro has a script for a third film, based on the comics by Mike Mignola, he contends it's "unlikely" it will be produced.
Both del Toro and star Ron Perlman recently discussed the possibility of moving the film under the Legendary Pictures banner after enjoying their experience making Pacific Rim there. But, as Legendary chief Thomas Tull pointed out, there would be some rights issues to work out as the company is still looking for a new home outside of Warner Bros. and the previous Hellboy movies were released by two different studios.
However, when del Toro talked more recently with Collider, he wasn't hopeful. "It’s very unlikely it’ll happen because you need things to converge so strongly," he said. "[Producer] Larry Gordon, Universal, the rights, Ron [Perlman’s] and mine’s availability, [comic creator] Mike [Mingola’s] blessing; we have pieces of that, but we don’t have all of that. You need so many things to confluence and then you need about $150 million."
The director calls out the budget because the second film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, earned $160 million worldwide off of an $85 million budget, making it a pretty big leap of faith on the studio's part to pony up an additional $65 milliom. He also explained that, part of the reason for the increased budget is that he needs to one-up the summer blockbusters that are so destruction-filled these days.
"The way Hellboy 1 and Hellboy 2 are very different from each other, Hellboy 3 is different enough from the other two that it wouldn’t feel like the same universe in scale," he said. "He does become the beast of the apocalypse. But seeing the apocalypse is getting more and more—the bar is raised higher and higher every year; mass destruction is becoming the sport of the summer.”
When asked about switching gears and turning the screenplay into a comic, del Toro explained that Mignola wasn't taken with the idea.
"I talked to Mike about making it a comic and Mike said very clearly, ‘Hellboy the movies is yours, Hellboy the comics is mine; I don’t wanna confuse them,’" del Toro said. "He has been very clear about not bringing any mythology we did in the movies into the comics, like Kroenen being a mechanical clockwork zombie Nazi, or The Samaritan, which is not called ‘The Samaritan’ in the comics, or Big Baby, or Abe Sapien being like the character he is in the movies, which is different. In the comics he’s a hard-ass, Abe Sapien is really a tough guy, and in the movie he’s like this sensitive, mind reading fish man. So [Mike] is very careful, no love story between Liz and Hellboy, so on and so forth."
Still, del Toro isn't hurting for work. He's got Pacific Rim hitting this Friday as well as projects like Crimson Peak, Dark Universe and The Strain TV series among plenty of other projects in various stages of development and completion.