While it sounds like the Hellboy reboot's R-rating will take the franchise in a darker direction than director Guillermo del Toro's original two films, series creator Mike Mignola revealed that the production's early vision for the movie originally continued del Toro's work.
"I would've loved to see Guillermo do his third movie and finish that story," Mignola told Nerdist. "But over the years it became very clear that wasn't going to happen. About three years ago the producers, the screenwriter Andrew Cosby, and I all started working on this new story. Del Toro didn't want to have anything to do with it, he wasn't going to direct. He was offered to be a producer, and Ron [Perlman] wouldn't do it without Guillermo."
"So we originally started trying to tie it to the del Toro universe and continue those movies," Mignola continued. "But once we had Neil Marshall, we thought, 'Why are we going to try and continue that universe?' Because a del Toro movie is a del Toro movie, and you don't want to try and hand a del Toro movie to someone else. Especially someone as great as Neil Marshall. So that's when it went from being this continuation to being a reboot. It's exciting to have another director. It's exciting to take another path, to take that material and give it another leaning."
Mignola also commented on Stranger Things star David Harbour's enthusiasm for the title role. "[David] is super excited about being Hellboy and he wants to make sure he gets it right," Mignola said. "He's texting me Hellboy questions about his history, about what the character would think about this or about that. It's really exciting to be back and see this thing come together."
The announcement that del Toro wouldn't be making a third Hellboy film hit the Internet back in February. Shortly after, Mignola revealed that there was an R-rated reboot in the works with The Descent's Neil Marshall directing. In an interview last June, Del Toro seemingly gave the reboot his blessing, so there don't appear to be any hard feelings.
Directed by Neil Marshall, the upcoming Hellboy reboot -- tentatively titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen -- is written by Andrew Cosby, Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola and stars David Harbour as Hellboy. The film does not yet have a release date, though it is expected to come out in 2018.